2nd book of Maccabees
It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with
whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.
Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her
womanly heart with manly courage, she exhorted each of them in the language of their forefathers
with these words:
"I do not know how you came into
existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shapes each man's beginning, as he
brings about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law." Martyrdom of Mother and
Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words, thought
he was being ridiculed. As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him, not with
mere words, but with promises on oath, to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral
customs: he would make him his Friend and entrust him with high office.
When the youth paid no attention to him at all, the king appealed to
the mother, urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
After he had urged her for a long time, she went through the motions of persuading her
In derision of the cruel tyrant, she leaned over
close to her son and said in their native language: "Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my
womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you up, educated and supported you to your
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens
and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of
existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers
and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."
She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: "What are you
waiting for? I will not obey the king's command. I obey the command of the law given to our
forefathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived
every kind of affliction for the Hebrews, will not escape the hands of God.
A prayer of David. Hear, LORD, my plea for justice; pay heed to my cry;
Listen to my prayer spoken without guile.
My steps have
kept to your paths; my feet have not faltered.
upon you; answer me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my prayer.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
I am just--let me see your
face; when I awake, let me be filled with your presence.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ
according to Saint Luke 19:11-28.
While they were listening to him speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of
God would appear there immediately.
So he said, "A nobleman
went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told
them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, 'We do not want this
man to be our king.'
But when he returned after
obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what
they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and
said, 'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
He replied, 'Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.'
Then the second came and
reported, 'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
And to this servant too he said, 'You, take charge of five cities.'
Then the other servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin; I
kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid
of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest
what you did not plant.'
He said to him, 'With your own
words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I
did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with
And to those standing by he said, 'Take the
gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.'
But they said to him, 'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
'I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even
what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those
enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before
After he had said this, he proceeded on his
journey up to Jerusalem.