The apochryphal book of Maccabees is set in the middle of the silent period between the Old and New Testaments. It seems to be a completely historical document. It was probably excluded from the canon of scripture because it was not "divinely inspired."
But there is sufficient historical evidence from other writings to confirm the accuracy of First Maccabees and Second Maccabees. There is also Third Maccabees and Fourth Maccabees which seem to be less historically focused and more nearly morality tales to strengthen the Jews during this period. Neither Third Maccabees nor Fourth Maccabees follows the family of Judas Maccabeus as do First and Second Maccabees.
The reading for today gives a glimpse of what was happening in the life of the Jewish nation during this period.
Help us to get through the spaces when it seems that You are silent. Teach us to rely on Your written word and not to become dependent upon supernatural signs and wonders. Keep us faithful to Your laws.
In Jesus' most precious name.