2 Maccabees 12:43-46

A reading from the second Book of Maccabees

Judas, the ruler of Israel,
     took up a collection among all his soldiers,
     amounting to two thousand silver drachmas,
     which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice.
In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way,
     inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;
     for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again,
     it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.
But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward
     that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness,
     it was a holy and pious thought.
Thus he made atonement for the dead
     that they might be freed from this sin.

The word of the Lord.

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