Why does the Church have us read the Books of Maccabees now as we are ending the year?
We are reminded once more of the connection between our Christian faith and that of our Jewish brothers and sister. Next Sunday we will begin the season of Advent with its own series of particular readings. But before we do, we take time now to reflect of the roots of the Jewish holiday that falls during Advent, Hanukkah.
This year it begins on our Second Sunday of Advent. It is not "Jewish Christmas." It celebrates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah is more than dreidels and chocolate coins. It is an annual commemoration of a people's fight for religious liberty and the miracle that occurred when they rededicated the temple.