Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In the Fiery Furnace

Today's first reading is from the book of Daniel. Not the lion's den, but the fiery furnace where (as the old Latin translation put it) the three "children" (now our translation reads "young men") were thrown after refusing to adore Nebuchadnezzar's golden statue. The Responsorial Psalm isn't a Psalm at all, but the "song of the children" as they called all creation and every rank of person to praise God. This canticle became one of the mainstays of the early Liturgy of the Hours (it's still got a prominent place on Sundays and on all solemnities, including tomorrow's Annunication of the Lord).
So what's that got to do with Lent, which is now in its last days? (A week from today is the final day of Lent.)
Maybe there's a hint in the Gospel, where Jesus tells us "the truth will make you free." Free like those young people in Babylon who clung to the truth about God, and sang his praises "unfettered and unhurt" in the flames.
"For freedom Christ has set us free," St. Paul wrote.
What is the truth that is the key to the freedom you most need this year?

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