Today's reading from Maccabees:
"From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, 'Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us.'
This proposal pleased them,
and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles.
So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom,
and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
and that each should give up his customs.
All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.
Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding cities of Judah,
and burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
The books of the law which they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire.
Where the book of the covenant was found in the possession of any one, or if any one adhered to the law, the decree of the king condemned him to death.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food.
They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die."
Is it just me, or does it sound scary familiar?
Whatever is to come, let's remain steadfast in faith and love for God...knowing that He will be by our side through it all.
"No storm can shake my inmost calm, for to that Rock I'm clinging. Since Love is Lord of Heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"
BTW, how are you all doing? :-)