When Facing Overwhelming Odds

In trouble? Facing a foe bigger than you? Are you having to put up with junk that you’d rather not have to put up with? (This could mean anything.) Have no fear, for Judas Maccabaeus is here, and he has Heaven on his side!

1 Maccabees 3: 17-19: “But when they saw the army coming against them, they said to Judas: “How can we, few as we are, fight such a strong host as this? Besides, we are weak since we have not eaten today.”

But Judas said: “Many are easily hemmed in by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverance by many or by few; for victory in war does not depend upon the size of the army, but on strength that comes from Heaven.”

(Via USCCB.)

We can take a lot of hope and inspiration from Judas Maccabaeus. A Jewish leader and warrior during a time when the Israelite nation was under occupation and forced to worship false gods (a symbol of assimilation into worldly ways, of convenient religious belief that is safe from persecution) he did not allow the fact of overwhelming odds deter him from doing what was right.

We can read the Books of Maccabees and, apart from being enthralled by the adventures, get hope and sustenance from his courage.

Especially during trials in which we feel that our opponents are “too big” for us. In Heaven’s eyes, they see us, and them, allied against our opponents. (Of course, this is depending on our cause being just.)

So, fear not. You are going through some problems at work (like me) or some other difficult situation. Don’t give up. Rely heavily on the Lord your God and eventually, although it seems like forever, justice will prevail. That may seem very trite, particularly if your darkness has enveloped you for a long time. But patient endurance has a way of wearing down those who oppose you.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"


  1. Thanks for your post. I too am going through a rough patch in work and family life. I need to be reminded that God is in charge and that “this too will pass”.

    • My prayers are ascending for you, Kevin. (Sorry I took so long to reply, checking for replies is a casualty of things!)

      Hang in there.

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