“Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring for ever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.” (Daniel 6:25-26)
Yesterday, we read of how the reign of King Belshazzar came to an end for his sin of sacrilege. Daniel correctly interpreted the handwriting on the wall. Everything took place as he said. The kingdom was divided between the Medes and Persians. A new King arose, Darius who sought friendship with Daniel. Now there arose some “enemies of progress” who envied Daniel. They hatched out a plan to destroy him knowing Daniel does not joke with his prayer life. What they didn’t know was that prayer was Daniel’s power house. They made Darius issue a decree preventing anyone from prayer. Daniel was so unshaken by this decree that he increased his prayerfulness. Daniel had so much confidence in the power of God that he went as far as opening his windows so that all the people would see clearly that he didn’t stop praying.
Isn’t it funny that even when there is no such decree in existence, many of us Christians still find it very difficult to observe regular and fixed hours of daily prayers? How come we suddenly become too tired to pray? Why do we rush our prayers? How come some of us have stopped using our prayer rooms (chapels) or Home Altars? Simply put, we practically underestimate the power of prayers. When Jesus Christ spoke of the events of the end time, he said: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity… men fainting with fear and with foreboding…. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28). In another passage, Jesus says: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33).
Daniel did not seek to preserve his life because He knew God had the power to raise a person from the dead and that was exactly what happened. Daniel landed in the lions’ den for praying. In the eyes of the world, that was his end, but God raised him to life again by shutting the mouths of the lions. The next morning, when Darius saw Daniel still alive, he became converted and issued a decree that no one should ever pray to any other god except the God of Daniel. Meanwhile the enemies of progress served as delicious meal for the lions.
No matter what you are going through right now, do not worry! Just remain steadfast, don’t give up on God, don’t stop doing what is right. No matter what you are made to suffer, don’t worry, just keep your hands clean and never stop praying. God sees you and He fights for you. Even if you have to “die” like Daniel, God will raise you from the dead and put your enemies to shame.
Finally, please don’t be an enemy of progress. Do not plan or partake in any plan to pull down any body. Whatever evil you do to anyone comes back to you in so many ways. Jesus taught us never to do to anyone what we do not want done to us (even if they offended us first). The fate of Daniel’s conspirators is very similar to that of Haman who had prepared gallows to hang Mordecai not knowing he would be the one to die on it. (Esther 6&7). The evil that men do live with them.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, I place my trust in you. I resolve to deepen my prayer life and not anything stop me from observing all my daily prayers. Amen.
Bible Study: Daniel 6:12-28, Psalm (Dan.3) & Luke 21:20-28).
Fear God; Respect What is Dedicated to Him.
(Wednesday 27th November 2019. Bible Study: Daniel 5:1-28, Psalm (Dan.3) and Luke 21:12-19)
“Then they brought in the golden and silver vessels which had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.” (Daniel 5:3-4) Imagine coming home one day only to meet your children scrubbing the floor diligently and happily only for you to check and discover that what they are using to scrub the floor is your most priced piece of clothing. Would you simply gloss over it?
The sin of King Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar in today’s first reading is the sin of SACRILEGE. According to Catechism of the Catholic Church, Number 2120: “Sacrilege is profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God.” Belshazzar knew what those vessels were meant for but he was trying to challenge the existence of God; he was trying to prove he could take the place of God. From the way God dealt with Belshazzar, we can clearly see that God does not joke with his own. Now to examine our conscience: Do I respect the church, the building itself and the items used for liturgical worship? Do I make noise, gossip or run commentaries while in church? Do I use the church as a business centre of some sort? Do I get up during the mass to answer a phone call? Etc.
On the other hand, do I respect persons who have been consecrated to God? David refused to strike Saul even when he had the opportunity not because of Saul’s personal credibility but because David considered him as God’s anointed. Dear friends, on no account is it permissible to dishonour the things set apart for God. Lack of respect for things dedicated to God is lack of respect for God Himself. In our Gospel passage, Jesus teaches us that tough times don’t last but tough people do. There would be sacrifices to pay for our faith, we may have to suffer many things but as Jesus concludes: “by your endurance, you will gain your lives.” Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my respect for what is yours. Amen.
Bible Study: Daniel 5:1-28, Psalm (Dan.3) and Luke 21:12-19).