Jesus said, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
We can be like angels, but not in this world. In this world we can only be saints, and saints do not live like angels, they live like soldiers. They live heroically. They fight through life, one battle at a time, and sometimes multiple battles on multiple fronts. They never give in to despair and they never give up. They know what to do when they just can’t do it: they fall to the ground and look up. They know how to keep things in perspective.
The Old Testament is a well documented record of a people's history. It is written through the eyes of believers. Hence, whatever happened happened for a reason. There is no chance, no luck, no bad luck. All is for good. All is from God. All is for a reason.
And so it was for Antiochus (cf. Macc 6:1-13). He died in bitter grief. He saw his entire life efforts, his evil empire, crumbling at the hands of the Jews who had had enough of his abominations. He had captured and pillaged their cities, stolen their gold and silver, taken their wives, killed their elders and butchered their sons. He had set up “the Abomination” upon the altar in Jerusalem. The end was arriving for poor Antiochus and his armies. He would live just long enough to see it all collapse.
What is remarkable about the Jewish people is that they see not only the abominations that were carried out upon them, but their own abominations. When evil falls upon them, it is because they caved in to pressure. When grace falls upon them, it is because they stood steadfast with God. How true. How simple. How obvious.
There are so many abominations that go on in our families, in our Church and in our nation. Of course! Are we surprised? If society collapses it is because the Church has collapsed. And if the Church collapses, then it is because families have collapsed!
Do we expect to find a savior among the non-believers? Do we expect to find an anointed one among the pagans? The Saints followed the Lord even if it meant traveling blind folded! The Saints rise up to harsh conditions. They lead their flock. Saints are those who have had enough! We need more saints. We need more leaders. We need more men and women of courage and determination.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. “I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord (Psalm 9:16a).” I will rejoice!
I just finished speaking at an annual pro-life gathering here in Richardson. It was amazing to see so many men and women (and not too few children) willing to be saints. It has never been so easy to be a saint today. All you have to do is save a life and your life will be saved. All you have to do is convince someone not to kill their baby and you shall not be harmed! How easy! How amazingly easy it is.
A priest told me he received an e-mail from a mom whose child just completed his first reconciliation. The boy got in the car and told his mother, “Well, I guess Satan isn’t really happy with me today.” He’s right. Satan is not happy.
Let’s make sure to keep Satan unhappy in this world.