Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 506. Thurs of 34th week. Daniel 6:12-28. Daniel
3:68-74. Luke 21:20-28:
"The letter of the law kills!' Fortunately, we know there are exceptions
and that many lawyers live by the spirit of justice, freedom, and
integrity. This is where the Spirit comes in and this is where Scripture
always has the ability to adapt itself to the Spirit rather than to the
letter of the laws we find within the Scriptures. This is not casuistry
nor legalistic logic, but it is the cutting through to the marrow of the
bones and to the heart of the matter when it comes to the piercing sword of
Daniel, our hero and saint for this week, is now thrown into the lions'
den. This is what the advisors of the "king" tell him about the laws of
the Persians and Medes. He must be thrown there because he has not
embraced the religion and rituals of the king. "The decree is absolute,
irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law." The king likes Daniel but
realizes he has to face the rquirements of the law. He tells Daniel, "May
your God, whom you serve so constantly, save you." Daniel has prayed, he
has fasted from meats and wines, and has cooperated with the practical
things that he was asked to do. He used his talent of interpretation to
help the ruler see what will follow in succeeding dynasties and powers.
Daniel was guided by God's Spirit in all that he did. Here again is one
more trial that he has to go through. Daniel is not a lucky person; he is a
faitfhul and wholesome person and thus is able to find ways to come through
the ordinary difficulties he has faced in a strange land. Now that the
more super human tests are put upon him, Daniel relies on the power of the
Darius, the king, is astonished to see that the lions do not harm Daniel.
He grants peace to the Israelites and praises the God of Daniel saying that
the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared: "For he is the living
God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his dominion
shall be without end. He is a deliverer and a savior, working signs in
heaven and on earth, and he delivered Daniel from the lions' power."
Together with Daniel and the three companions we join in their hymn of
praise and thanksgiving as we finish another liturgical year. All of
creation is to praise the Lord. Our response joins in with the four
Israelites as we sing, "Give glory and eternal praise to God. Amen. Amen.
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