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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

The Example of Eleazar (Modernism Part 25)

Today’s readings:

2 Maccabees 6:18-31

Psalm 3:2-7

Luke 19:1-10

Today we look at two persons, one a sinner and the other a saint. They were Zacchaeus the tax collector and Eleazar the heroic Maccabean figure. The first was a powerful person, the second powerless. The first had comfort in life, the second was tortured to death. The first was disdained, the second revered. Both were touched by God and experienced His salvation. God looks to the salvation of all.

Modernists in our Church today say they are looking to the well-being of humans, especially in looking to social justice. But they err in looking only to human means and values, oftentimes laying aside the difficult demands of a righteous God. But is God considerate of the well-being of man or just imposes hardships in living the Christian life? Well, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Lk 19:10). Humans today have lost their way, and continue to stumble in the darkness of sin and evil. God seeks them out to save them.

Jesus is the epitome of acceptance of sinners and of pastoral accompaniment. He in fact pursues sinners, as he came for them and wants no one to be lost. Thus he looked up to Zacchaeus on the tree and invited himself to his house (Lk 19:5). Jesus was proactive. The Jews, “when they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.’” (Lk 19:7). Jesus did not just wait for people to come to him, but he came to them. But Jesus did not just have a good time at Zacchaeus’ house. He spoke to him about righteousness. Zacchaeus was touched and convicted. “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” (Lk 19:8). And Jesus responded, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Lk 19:9a).

With Jesus, sinners repent and are saved. With modernist pastors, sinners remain in their sin and continue to be lost. To seek out the lost and the least is not just to accept, embrace and accompany them, but more importantly, to try to get them out of their sin. To do the former and not the latter is to in fact affirm them in their sin. It is false mercy.

In the world today, the culture or spirit of the age is predominant. What is that zeitgeist? For society, it is the predominance of liberalism, of secular humanism, of cultural Marxism. For the Church, it is modernism, which has all the above isms. Both are deadly. With liberalism and modernism predominant, in both State and Church, those who want to live a godly life, in fidelity to the authentic Judeo-Christian faith, are persecuted.

Liberal and modernist foes are all over, and in very powerful places. They are secular governments, international organizations (such as the UN, EU, WHO), and even hierarchs in our Church. Authentic Christians cry out, “How many are my foes, Lord! How many rise against me!” (Ps 3:2). These powerful forces, while able to do some good for humanity, are ultimately out to suppress the one true faith and the one true Church.

Modernists, without saying it, are in effect saying, “There is no salvation for him in God.” (Ps 3:3). Church modernists are not overtly against God, but they act in ways that are contrary to the truths of God. What do modernists claim?

  • Your salvation is in any and all religions, which are all ways to the divine.

  • You can be rabidly pro-abortion but still receive Holy Communion.

  • Just look to peace and unity via the international brotherhood of all men, and not necessarily in Christ.

  • Look to Mother Earth, Gaia, for the salvation of the earth and thus the peoples of the world. Look to idols such as the Pachamama.

So with powerful foes, those who fight for faith, family and life can expect to be persecuted, as many in today’s world already are.

  • Abortionists get a pass while those who pray at abortion clinics, those who try to dissuade women about to get an abortion, and those who expose abortion malpractices are the ones who are arrested.

  • Liberal and Marxist teachers teach Critical Race Theory while the parents who strongly object to such indoctrination of their children are labeled domestic terrorists, subject to arrest by the FBI.

  • Conservative Cardinals are purged from the Church hierarchy, and in their place are placed ultra-liberal ones.

  • Tradition-minded priests, especially those who oppose or expose homosexuality among the clergy, are ousted by their bishops and even stripped of their faculties to celebrate the sacraments.

  • Those who refuse to be vaccinated because of conscientious objection are fired from their jobs, including Church workers, seminarians and Swiss Guards.

Due to these totalitarian pressures, and most with no choice in their powerlessness, many just meekly submit. But there are those who heroically resist. Even at the price of loss of their jobs, positions and security. Here is where we can be inspired by the story of Eleazar. He was being forced by the mandate of the Greek overlords to eat pork (2 Mc 6:18), which was prohibited by his Jewish religion. He simply refused to comply. He was savagely tortured and gave up his life.

Eleazar refused to comply because he was “above all loyal to the holy laws given by God” (2 Mc 6:23b). As the apostles would later declare to the religious authorities of their time, they would obey God rather than man. Further, when offered the opportunity to just pretend to eat pork so he can save his life, Eleazar said, “At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many of the young would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. If I dissemble to gain a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring defilement and dishonor on my old age.” (2 Mc 6:24-25).

Many modernists in our Church today, especially the older pastors and shepherds, are doing the opposite. They are leading the laypeople astray.

  • By telling homosexuals that they are born that way, they keep them secure in their disordered state.

  • By approving of same-sex civil unions, they affirm LGBT and what could ultimately come, same-sex marriage.

  • By saying it is wrong to proselytize (that is, make converts), they are keeping Catholics from doing the mission Jesus himself told them to do.

  • By giving Holy Communion to active, rabid and public pro-aborts, they are condoning the grave sin of abortion, and keeping offenders in their state of grievous sin.

And how have these liberal and modernist pastors acted toward those who resist? Just like with Eleazar, “those who shortly before had been kindly disposed, now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness.” (2 Mc 6:29). Modernists cannot understand our insistence on the authentic word of God, on the need for fidelity to God’s commands, on the primacy of Christ over man in all things. Thus they have turned on their confreres and on faithful Catholics, and have become hostile to them. This is the case with long-time friends, with Church co-workers, and even children in relation to their parents.

But we must continue to endure and persevere. Like Eleazar, and like what Jesus said in his Beatitudes, when we are persecuted, we like Eleazar can say we should be “also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.” (2 Mc 6:30c).

Jesus said we are to lose our life in order to save it. This was literally the case with Eleazar. “This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of nobility and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation.” (2 Mc 6:31). For us, we must look to giving such a noble example to the next generations and to the whole world.

With Jesus by our side, “I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.” (Ps 3:7).


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