Brothers Who Chose Death Rather Than Sin
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley
Stories for Life Index
In a world that constantly looks for ease and comfort, and scoffs at sacrifices and family values and questions unchangeable Commandments, we are reminded of one family who had such reverence and belief in God's law that they would rather die than commit a transgression against God's law.
The story comes from the second book of Maccabees in the Old Testament. According to the book of Sacred Scripture, which is th4 very world of God, a mother and her seven sons were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law (2 Maccabees 7:1). One brother speaking for the others told the king that they were ready to die rather than transgress the laws of their ancestors. The king was ready to oblige and had the cauldrons heated.
The mother watched as, one by one, each son was tortured to death. When the wicked king came to the last brother, he promised him wealth, security and high honors if he would come up to date with his religious beliefs and reject the religious laws. The brave mother turned to her youngest son and said: "Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in time of mercy, I may receive you again with them" (2 Mac. 7:29)
She then watched as her seventh son died for his religious beliefs which she had taught him.
With a mother having such fortitude and faith, it was no wonder that the seven sons were able to suffer martyrdom for their faith. The hand that rocks the cradle has always wielded giant influence, especially in the field of religion.
In the New Testament, Christ told His disciples to go out into the world and teach people what He taught them. They were not to water down His doctrine in order to attract converts. The basic law Christ taught was the Ten Commandments. He founded His Church upon Peter, gave us the seven Sacraments and told St. Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you." The Rock of Peter is the Ark which sails peacefully over the turbulent waters of our time. Let us climb aboard the barque of Peter, ancient but ever new. John Paul II pilots the ship and speaks for Christ. Follow him rather than the fantasies of liberal theologians who prowl about the world seeking the destruction of authentic doctrine. Knowingly or unwittingly they are aiding the Prince of darkness. The Pope's course is Christ's course and it is right on target.