Compromising the Faith Brings False Unity
Our first reading today tells the sad tale of how many of the Israelites abandoned the practice of their faith in order to fit in better with the pagans around them. The got tired of having to live a lifestyle that was different than the rest of the culture. The Gentile king even proposes that it would be much better if everyone could be unified in worshiping the same gods. How often we hear this same logic in our own day. If only we would give up these silly religious beliefs or at least not claim to know anything with certainty; then we could all be unified. After all, religion is the cause of so much division. If we just admitted that nothing is true then there would be nothing to argue about and we could all be unified. So goes the popular wisdom. The reading today ends with the brief statement that some of the Israelites refused to abandon their faith for the sake of this false unity. They chose to die rather than submit to an evil compromise to achieve a fake unity. What will we do? How will we respond to the pressures of our time?