Worth being killed?
In today’s first reading (1 Maccabees 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63), people choose to be killed rather than eat non-kosher food.
614 years ago today, a Franciscan priest named Nicholas Tavelic was killed for preaching Christ and refusing to recant.
Irreligious people try to lump all of this and more under the category of deadly religious extremism, but the differences are overwhelming.
The would-be bomber and her accomplices intended horrific objective evils: to die by their own hand and to kill innocent people deliberately.
The people in today’s first reading intended and committed no objective evil, they sought only to be faithful to God’s command: they do not die by their own hand, but are killed at the hands of a super-conformist society.
St. Nicholas Tavelic likewise sought only to be faithful to God’s command, knowing it was nearly certain that he would be killed by a super-conformist society.
There is nothing worth killing oneself for.
But there are things worth being killed for.
Would you and I be willing to be killed for doing the right thing?
Is our desire to do what is right greater than our fear?
Sadly, for too many of us, fear is greater: we shrink from doing right things, we pull back from following a vocation, and we even commit sin.
Tragically, this fear is not usually the fear of death but the fear of unpopularity, the fear of discomfort, or even the fear of being denounced as a religious fanatic
By giving into these fears, we risk the most fearful situation of all: being lost, weak, alone, and in the dark forever – the very place suicide bombers and antireligious extremists deserve (may God have mercy on us all).
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ give us the courage to avoid evil, to do what is right, to do what is good, and to be faithful to him in our lives – no matter what.