The Holy Seven Maccabees, their Mother Solomone and their Teacher Eleazar as Models for our Lives

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

The holy seven Maccabean martyrs lived and had been martyred earlier than the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, however the holy hymn author calls them, other than “guardians of the doctrines of the regulation”, additionally “martyrs of Christ”, that’s, of the Incarnate Word. And he calls them so, as a result of these martyrs additionally had communion with the Son and Word of God, since all of the appearances of God within the Old Testament, particularly to the Patriarchs, the Prophets and the Righteous, are appearances of the Pre-Incarnate Word.These, then, the seven martyrs lived within the years of the Syrian king Antiochus, who was a merciless, barbaric and lethal persecutor of all those that worshiped the true God. Therefore, this ungodly king, after first arresting, torturing and killing their ninety-year-old trainer Eleazar, who remained steadfast in his religion and instructing on the precise observance of God’s regulation, then arrested them as effectively. At first he handled them with feigned kindness, providing them honors and positions, if they might deny their religion within the God of their Fathers. In reality, he provided them scrumptious meals, which, nevertheless, was forbidden by the regulation given by God to His folks, via the Prophet Moses, and insisted that they fight it. They refused after which Antiochus confirmed his true face, the merciless and inhuman one. He had every of them, one after the other, endure wheels, javelins and fireplace. Their mom Solomone was consistently close to them and strengthened them, after which adopted them in martyrdom. She was additionally thrown into the hearth and thus everybody obtained the unfading wreath of martyrdom.

Their lives and their conduct give us the event to emphasise the next.

Saints who lived earlier than the incarnation of the Son and Word of God are additionally listed within the Church’s checklist of Saints. These are the Patriarchs, the Prophets and the Righteous of the Old Testament, who had been keepers of God’s regulation and confessors of the true religion. In reality, lots of them sealed their confession with the blood of their martyrdom. All of them had communion with God the Word, they accepted the Divine revelation, due to this fact their religion was a residing, genuine, experiential religion, which is linked with confession and martyrdom and unites folks with God, remodeling them from being weak and cowards to robust and courageous, and from small and insignificant to necessary and actually nice.

The Apostle Paul speaks of those Saints of the Old Testament in his Epistle to the Hebrews and praises them, saying that these saints with the ability of religion “subdued kingdoms, labored righteousness, obtained guarantees, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fireplace, escaped the sting of the sword, out of weak spot had been made robust, turned valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women obtained their useless raised to life once more. Others had been tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they may get hold of a greater resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, sure, and of chains and imprisonment. They had been stoned, they had been sawn in two, had been tempted, had been slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, bothered, tormented — of whom the world was undeserving. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.” And they achieved all this as a result of they believed God and believed in God. Because, as Saint Gregory Palamas says, “I imagine God” is one factor and “I imagine in God” is one other.

“I imagine God” signifies that I take into account His guarantees sure, that’s, that God is trustworthy to His guarantees, He doesn’t break them, He doesn’t repent, however He fulfills what He guarantees, as we sing within the “Entrance Hymn” of the feast of the Nativity of Christ: “I’ve begotten you from the womb earlier than the morning. The Lord has sworn, and won’t repent.” And “I imagine in God” signifies that “I believe accurately about Him”, not that I merely admit His existence, however that I’ve right religion. That is, religion is linked with the doctrines of the Church, with the reality as a revelation, as expressed by the Church via the Prophets, the Apostles and the Holy Fathers. It is linked with the Orthodox mindset and the Orthodox lifestyle, and due to this fact those that don’t possess each are in actuality unbelievers. Therefore, because the Saint emphasizes, an unbeliever isn’t solely the one who doesn’t imagine within the existence of God, but additionally the heretic is an unbeliever, as a result of he falsifies the religion and alters the Orthodox lifestyle, and an unbeliever can be the one who turned Orthodox via Baptism, nevertheless, he doesn’t have Orthodox morals and pondering, and his lifestyle isn’t in accordance with God’s will.

In different phrases, religion is an expertise and is linked to Orthodox doctrine, repentance, good works and obedience to the Church. Anyone who doesn’t possess the above traits is an unbeliever or has an empty, false religion, like that of demons. Because even the demons “imagine and concern”, however their religion doesn’t save them, due to their satisfaction they don’t repent, and their lifestyle isn’t in accordance with God’s will. Therefore, the religion that saves man is the one that is still pure, unadulterated and is linked to obedience to God’s will and absolute belief in His love and His guarantees.

Let us additionally hearken to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul: “Therefore we additionally, since we’re surrounded by so nice a cloud of witnesses, allow us to lay apart each weight, and the sin which so simply ensnares us, and allow us to run with endurance the race that’s set earlier than us, trying unto Jesus, the creator and finisher of our religion.” Let the Saints of our Church, previous and current, be for all of us a mannequin of religion, obedience, hope, persistence, self-denial and sacrificial love. Let us be impressed by their genuine religion and their self-sacrificing love, in order that we are able to all the time stay upright and steadfast, and particularly within the troublesome moments and circumstances of our lives.

When we name on them in religion, they’ll all the time be by our facet, to sweeten our ache, to dry our tears, to present us braveness, to consolation us and to help us, in order that we are able to endure to the top and stay trustworthy “unto dying”, in order that we could also be discovered to obtain “the crown of life”.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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