Monday, June 9, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daniel 3:  52, 53, 54, 55, 56 (Read)

“Blessed are you, O Lord, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”


This week's Psalm is taken from the book of Daniel.  
The verses are an excerpt from the songs of Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego who have been thrown into 
the fiery furnace by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
These three young Jewish men refuse to worship the god

of Nebuchadnezzar, nor will they worship the golden statue
that has been set up by the King.  As a consequence they 

are cast into a white hot furnace by the King.

But these brave young men are seen walking about in the 

flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord, using the words
in this week's Responsorial.  An angel of the Lord goes down 

into the furnace and makes the inside of the furnace as though
a “dew laden breeze were blowing through it.”  So the fire in 
no way  touches or causes them pain or harm.

These three in the furnace with one voice sing, glorifying and 

blessing God.   The unwavering faith of the three makes a 
strong impression on King Nebuchadnezzar when he sees 
that these three young servants of God have trusted in God 
and yielded their bodies, rather than serve or worship the 
Babylonian god or a golden statue.  The King himself is so 
overwhelmed that he undergoes a conversion and exclaims, 
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” 

The verses of the Psalm affirm the power of God's love for us.  

We too are inspired to respond with the words of the  three 
young Jewish men in the fiery furnace.  Each day we 
encounter our own trial by fire and emerge unscathed.   
“Blessed are you, O Lord, praiseworthy and exalted above
 all forever.”

Just as the men in the furnace were in awe of the glory
of the Lord, who sent an angel to rescue them, we too
stand in awe of the loving presence of our God.  Helpless
without the strength of God in our lives, we focus not on
our own predicaments, but on the greatness of our God,
“Blessed are you O Lord.  Glory and praise forever!”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The verses of the Responsorial are songs of Shadrach, 

Meshach,and Abednego, who are rescued from the fiery furnace.  
We all encounter trial by fire when we live our faith.  Speak of your
own rescue by the power of the Lord.

2.  Daniel relates the story of King Nebuchadnezzar's conversion 

after he observes the inspiring witness of the three young Jewish men.   
Tell of how your own witness inspires others to become people of faith.


  1. When tested by fire or worse……how will we behave???? We’d all like to think
    we’d be models of perfection….but look at Peter, who spent some 3 years with
    Christ on a daily basis…..…he couldn’t stand up for Christ when the time came.

    We’re not being challenged now to this extent, so now is the time to fortify our-
    selves through prayer, sacrifice and good deeds. When we were with Habitat
    For Humanity in Central America, we thought we’d impress large masses of
    people. If in fact, we impressed even a small handful of people, I’d now consider that a major accomplishment.

  2. I am inspired by these three young Jewish men in the fiery furnace. They completely trusted in God, rather than to worship the Babylonian god (a golden statue). The result of it, they were rescued unharmed and rewarded and exalted. That same power of the Lord could be available to me if I trust God in every situation when I face trials. I am thankful to God that I am in God's hands, not in human hands.

    Whenever I encounter the struggles of life, or sufferings and difficulties, with faith in God I cry out to Him. There have been times when my temporary trials were delivered through my constant prayers and petitions to Him. Even though my faith in Him is still weak, His love for me sets me free. So that I've forgiven the persons who offended me in the past. In this way I witnessed to others that God's love abides in me.