1 Maccabees - Chapter 12
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5 The following is the copy of the letter Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:
10 we venture to send to renew our fraternal friendship with you, so that we may not become strangers to you, a long time having elapsed since you last wrote to us.
11 We, for our part, on every occasion, at our festivals and on other appointed days, unfailingly remember you in the sacrifices we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and fitting to remember brothers.
15 since we have the support of Heaven to help us, thanks to which we have been delivered from our enemies, and they are the ones who have been brought low.
16 We have therefore chosen Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, and sent them to the Romans to renew our former treaty of friendship and alliance,
20 'Areios king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greetings.
21 'It has been discovered in records regarding the Spartans and Jews that they are brothers, and of the race of Abraham.
22 Now that this has come to our knowledge, we shall be obliged if you will send us news of your welfare.
24 Jonathan learned that Demetrius' generals had returned with a larger army than before to make war on him.
28 On learning that Jonathan and his men were ready to fight, the enemy took fright and, with quaking hearts, lit fires in their bivouac and decamped.
30 and although Jonathan pursued them, he failed to overtake them, for they had already crossed the river Eleutherus.
31 So Jonathan wheeled round on the Arabs called Zabadaeans, beat them and plundered them;
33 Simon, meanwhile, had also set out and had penetrated as far as Ascalon and the neighbouring towns. He then turned on Joppa and moved quickly to occupy it,
34 for he had heard of their intention to hand over this strong point to the supporters of Demetrius; he stationed a garrison there to hold it.
36 and to heighten the walls of Jerusalem and erect a high barrier between the Citadel and the city, to cut the former off from the city and isolate it, to prevent the occupants from buying or selling.
39 Trypho's ambition was to become king of Asia, assume the crown, and overpower King Antiochus.
40 He was apprehensive that Jonathan might not allow him to do this, and might even make war on him, so he set out and came to Beth-Shean, in the hopes of finding some pretext for having him arrested and put to death.
44 He said to Jonathan, 'Why have you given all these people so much trouble, when there is no threat of war between us?
45 Send them back home; pick yourself a few men as your bodyguard, and come with me to Ptolemais, which I am going to hand over to you, with the other fortresses and the remaining troops and all the officials; after which, I shall take the road for home. This was my purpose in coming here.'
49 Trypho sent troops and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan's supporters.
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52 All reached Judaea safe and sound, and there they lamented Jonathan and his companions, being very frightened indeed; all Israel was plunged into mourning.
53 The surrounding nations were all now looking for ways of destroying them: 'They have no leader,' they said, 'no ally; we have only to attack them now, and we shall blot out their very memory from all peoples.'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Gospel, Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
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