Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Wednesday 5th week of Lent
April 5, 2006
Wednesday 5th week of Lent - Yr II
DANIEL 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar said: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set
up? Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp,
psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise,
you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the
God who can deliver you out of my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to
defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may
he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not
serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up." King
Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times
more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot
furnace. Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not
cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they
answered. "But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in
him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather
than serve or worship any god except their own God."
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my
word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and
the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of
Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You
will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in
a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you,
then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of
Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room
among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; then
do what you have heard from the Father." They answered and said to him,
"Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's
children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are
trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from
God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!"
So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication. We have one
Father, God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would
love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but
he sent me."
The Jews valued freedom very highly. They were therefore disgusted when
Jesus talked to them about freedom, for they claimed that they were
descendants of Abraham and had never been enslaved. But Jesus was
speaking of another form of slavery, one that has persisted through the
ages up to our time - the slavery to sin. One who commits sin, and more
particularly one who gets into the habit of sin, is literally a slave
of sin, for he allows pride, greed, pleasure, or some other vice, to
dominate his life.
How does one get out of this "slavery"? The key word in today's reading
is "discipleship." Jesus said, "If you remain in my word, you will
truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will
set you free." Jesus is reassuring the Jews, and us, that we can get
out of the slavery of sin by true discipleship - learning more and more
about him, imbibing his words and living by them, striving to grasp the
truth that will lead us to freedom: freedom from fear, from anxiety,
from a remorseful conscience, from our own sinful self. There is no
doubt that it is not an easy task. History has proven that the cost of
freedom is high. But we can derive comfort from the words of Jesus,
"You will suffer in the world, but take courage! I have overcome the
world." (John 16:33)
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Nieves Pilapil.
- for the personal intentions of Nery Ramos.
- healings for Ian, Fr Steve, Carol, Cindy R, Mary Ann, Charlie J and
- for the personal intentions of Charles and Cheryl C.
- for the speedy recovery of Rita de los Reyes, personal intentions
of Dr. Cip de los Reyes and Jose delos Reyes.
- for the personal intention of Elyza Lopez
- for the special intentions of Mr. Egbert and Carol Carlos especially
for the upcoming interview in US Embassy this coming 19th of April..
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Lorenzo Y. Co (1916 - 1996)
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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