today's other readings are Psalm 17 and Lk. 19: 11-28
The story of the steadfastness of the mother and her 7 sons, is one that is held in high esteem to this day by Jewish women and men alike.
As I reflect on this reading, the first thing that grabs my attention is the writing style of the author, a style of prose that has a strong element of certainty, a certainty that is reflected in the words of the mother and her youngest son. There is nothing to negotiate with King Antiochus. All they can and willingly do is stay true to their faith, even if it means giving up their lives, which they willing do.
Second thing that strikes me is the belief in a resurrection to come, a belief that was a relatively later development in Judaism, and a belief that the mother certainly alludes to in her words.
A third thing that strikes me is the mother's commitment to speak in the language of the Jewish people, Hebrew. She avoids speaking Greek as much as possible, for this the language of the King, and not of her people. In doing so, she remains true to her faith, true to her culture, true to her family's origins, true to herself.
Blessed was that mother and her sons!