Too old to Evangelize?

November 19th, 2013  |  Published in Deacon Andy's Blog

Today’s readings are 2 MC 6:18-31 and Lk 19:1-10

In today’s first reading from the 2nd book of Maccabess we read about the witness given by the 90 year old Eleazar.  What a tremendous example Eleazar gives of living out his faith to the very end.  He is being tortured for not defiling himself by eating pork.  Now we might think what is the big deal about eating pork?  Eating pork was not allowed by Jewish law.  Apparently Eleazar lived a very good life and even those in charge of inflecting the torture on Eleazar had been so impressed by him over the years that they wanted to “cut him some slack”.  However their idea of helping was not to stand up for Eleazar and what was right; rather they wanted to secretly perform a “bait and switch” by letting him pretend to eat pork in front the others. Although Eleazar would have technically been in compliance with the Jewish law, Eleazar knew that he would be giving a poor witness and example to the younger Jewish people.  Instead of setting a bad example, Eleazar underwent torture and death for his faith.

Tom Brokaw described the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war’s home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort as “the Greatest Generation”. Like Eleazar this generation certainly set many examples for us today.  They did not try to evade the issue or deceive anyone; they meet challenges head on and overcame them.

We too must meet the challenge to evangelize head on and be proud of our faith.  Share your faith with everyone you meet.  Be an example of how to live your faith.  Let’s learn from that 90 year old man that we must be examples for all to see.  That means not rationalizing away sin.  It means standing up for what we believe in even if we will be ridiculed for it.