What do you want me to do for you?
What do you want me to do for you? Have we ever imagined ourselves thinking of Jesus asking us that question? What do you want me to do for you? Where is it in our lives that we need the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or where is it in our lives that we need maybe a clearer idea of what Jesus wants us to do or how Jesus wants us to live? What do you want me to do for you?
It’s an interesting question because in life human beings find themselves in all sorts of different types of situations. There are those times that are good and wonderful and we should be grateful because God does wonderful things. We have blessings.
There are other times when we might be overcome with difficulty, sickness or illness of ourselves or, excuse me, maybe even more so with someone we love and care about because we can’t really do much to eliminate the suffering of illness.
Maybe it is a sadness that comes because we aren’t generous. We see someone in need but we worry. Maybe we worry because we’re afraid or maybe we worry because we won’t have enough money for ourselves or whatever it is.
In the first reading, the worry is that we are not like everyone else. We want to be like everyone else. We don’t want the difference that our religion places upon us. And that’s quite a temptation.
Antiochus Epiphanes was not a nice man. He was not a gentle, kind king. Quite the opposite. And ultimately he didn’t want there to be multiple types of people in his kingdom but one. Quite frankly, at the time of Jesus, the Romans would have liked to have done the same thing.
But they couldn’t in the time of the Romans and they couldn’t in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. And the price was steep. We’re going to hear about the price of this royal decree putting anyone to death for practicing their faith.
I wonder in my own life if the penalty for practicing my faith were death. Would I just say, I’m just going to be like everybody else and keep quiet? Or would I say, I’m going to be faithful to you, Lord Jesus, and I’m going to be a disciple following you wherever it is you may lead.
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