33rd Week, Tuesday, Nov 21: Presentation of the Bl. Virgin Mary

33rd Week, Tuesday, Nov 21

2 Maccabees 6:18-31 / Luke 19:1-10  

Old Eleazar is martyred; He left an example to the young.

Regina Riley had been praying for several years for the return of her two sons to the Church. One Sunday she looked up and saw them sitting across the aisle from her. She was overjoyed. After Mass, Regina asks her sons what had led them back to the Church. They said that while vacationing in Colorado, they picked up an old man one Sunday morning. It was pouring down cats and dogs, and the old man was limping along in the rain. He told them that he was on his way to Mass three miles from his mountain home. It was the example of that arthritic old man that touched them deeply and eventually led them to return.


What kind of example do we give the young by our own devotion and commitment to Jesus? "Saints are persons who make it easier for others believe in God.” Nathan Soderblom


The first book of the Maccabees is historical and gives us the story of the struggle of the faithful Jews to preserve their religion and culture. The second book of the Maccabees is a more edifying book that gives us inspiring examples of the people’s struggles and faithfulness, like old Eleazar’s martyrdom, for the sake of observing the Law.


Generally speaking, as one grows older, one also should get wiser. Given that with age, comes experiences of life that makes one see clearer and think deeper. Such was Eleazar in the 1st reading. Being one of the foremost teachers of the Law and advanced in years with dignity, he was put to the test of faith in God. But he resolved to die with honour than to live in disgrace. He would not even pretend to eat the forbidden food. 

As he said, "Such pretense does not square with our time of life. Many young people would suppose that Eleazar at the age of ninety had conformed to the foreigners' way of life. I would only bring defilement and disgrace on my old age. I shall leave with the young a noble example of how to make a good death, eagerly and generously, for the venerable and holy laws." 

Eleazar would rather die than to be a scandal for others, especially for the young. Not only was he wiser with age, he was also noble and dignified when it comes to death.


Today, we meet Zacchaeus, the rich typical sinner as a tax collector, who is small and poor as a person. He runs to encounter Jesus and is converted through this encounter, but it is really Jesus who takes the initiative by calling Zacchaeus out of the tree and asking whether he can stay in his house. This is the solution for the sinner, cold or lukewarm: accept to encounter the Lord again. This message is spoken to us too. Encountering Jesus will change us too.


He had come to a point in his life when he had to decide how to live the rest of his life with dignity and self-respect. His eagerness to see Jesus was a sign that his heart was yearning for peace in his life. Jesus came to seek out and to save what was lost. May we also seek out Jesus in whatever stage of life we are at and not lose any more time in our journey towards salvation.



God of mercy and compassion, you know how often our fervor cools off, how poor of heart we are at times when we think we are rich and sure to belong to you. Let us encounter your Son again in the deepest of ourselves, help us to look for him, that his presence may change us and that he may live among us. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen


The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 21-Nov

When Mary was asked to be the mother of the Savior, she was completely free to accept or reject the offer. Her response, “Let it be done to me,” was a great act of faith. Because she did not understand what was happening, she must have known that there would be difficulties ahead.

She replied yes to the angel's announcement and agreed to become the mother of Jesus, and the Church has declared Mary to be the Mother of God. Because she was the first to say yes to the Messiah, the Church has declared her to be the Mother of the Church.

The feast of the presentation of Mary dates back to the 6th century in the East and the 15th century in the West. It is based on an ancient tradition that says Mary was taken to the temple in Jerusalem when she was 3-years-old and dedicated to God. What we celebrate on this day is the fact that God chose to dwell in Mary in a very special way. In response, Mary placed her whole self at the service of God. Every moment since your Baptism, God invites you to be open to his grace and dedicate yourself to him, as Mary did.