"He fled to the mountains with his sons, leaving behind in the city all their possessions." —1 Maccabees 2:28
Mattathias was forced to flee from the city to preserve his faith. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape the murderous Herod (Mt 2:13-15). The Pilgrims and our forefathers had to flee their own homelands to gain freedom to live their faith. Paul told Timothy: "Man of God that you are, flee from" the love of money (1 Tm 6:11).
Yet we Christians are not to flee from the devil. Rather, he should flee from us (Jas 4:7). We must, however, flee from the seductions of the world. We must "have nothing to do" with sexual impurity (Eph 5:7). We "avoid worldly, idle talk, for those who indulge in it become more and more godless, and the influence of their talk will spread like the plague" (2 Tm 2:16-17). We "make no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14). We "have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords" (1 Jn 2:15). We have been called out of the world (Jn 15:19), and have "fled into the desert where a special place" has been prepared for us by God (Rv 12:6).
This "fleeing" was part of Christ's life and is part of every Christian's life. It is also part of the original and true meaning of Thanksgiving. This day celebrates the freeing of God's people who have fled the world.
Prayer: Father, on this Thanksgiving Day, may I flee compromise with the world.
Promise: "Coming within sight of the city, He wept over it." —Lk 19:41
Praise: St. Cecilia's faith converted both her husband and his brother. All three were martyrs for Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our booklet, The Truth Will Set You Free.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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