Posted by: livingscripture | November 25, 2013

Last Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king’s service.”

                                                                                                Daniel 1: 19


How should we live this Word image049- Light

In this last week of the year, the Liturgy offers us the Book of Daniel.  It is among the most recent books of the Old Testament.  Daniel, its protagonist, is numbered among the great prophets.  Though we are certain of the existence of Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, Daniel may be an invented character.  He illustrates the fidelity of the little remnant of Israel to Yahweh.  Through colorful accounts, dreams and visions, the Book of Daniel comments on the drama of the times during the epoch of persecutions in the second century BC, similar to that of the book of Maccabees last week.

In the book of Daniel, we find much apocalyptic language that refers to events of four centuries before, during the Babylonian exile.  Daniel is seen as a new Joseph, a slave recognized for his wisdom and intelligence and exalted among others to the point of being the most listened to.  Daniel’s gift is to lead the pagan kings to respect the God he loves and serves.

The first chapter presents Daniel as a faithful Hebrew who knows how to manage in a new and different culture without being contaminated or crushed.  It is precisely the choice to have a different diet that challenges and arouses the curiosity of the King, who capitulates in the end and loves the intelligent service of the young Daniel and his friends.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on Daniel’s courage and wisdom and God’s fidelity.

Lord, help me to move with ease in our times while remaining faithful to Your Word.  Help me to be in serene dialogue with those who are spiritually far from You. 

The voice of the Gospel Antiphon 

Stay awake!  You do not know when the Son of Man will come.


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