Monday, June 5, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, June 11, 2017


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

This week's Responsorial 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 Responsorial affirm the power of God's
love for us.  Each day we encounter our own trial by fire 
and emerge unscathed, then we too are inspired to respond 
with the words of the three young Jewish men in the fiery 
furnace, “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, let us not focus 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. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were certainly completely filled with faith, and God certainly rewarded them. It’s easy to talk the talk, but how many of us would walk the walk, i.e., allow ourselves to be thrown into a fiery furnace?
    My prayer is that ALL OF US would allow ourselves to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than bow down and worship a false God, be it money, or whatever?????

  2. “Blessed are you, O Lord, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever,” is the song of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
    These three Jewish men have refused to worship the God of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the golden statue which was set up by him. Consequently they were thrown into the blazing furnace.

    Instead of being in fear, these young men were singing to God, blessing, glorifying the Lord with one voice. Since these three servants trusted in God and yielded their bodies, the angel of God protected them, delivered them, and created a breeze blowing cold inside the furnace. The young Jewish men were completely untouched by the fire and heat.

    King Nebuchadnezzar, who was in awe and overwhelmed, came to realize these faithful young men’s God is so powerful and is the one true God in the Universe. The young men's strong, unwavering faith in the God of Israel brought about a miracle which was an inspiring witness to King Nebuchadnezzar.

    If I encounter trial and hardship, how would I possibly react and respond? I wonder. I may be willing to compromise if confronted with a test of hardship or in the face of death, even though I have learned our destiny is in God’s hand, not in a human’s hand.

    I am amazed by these three Jewish men’s faith in spite of a trial by fire. I know this same saving power will be available to me too if I put my faith in God. I always thank God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and pray that the Trinity will watch over me and protect me in time of great trial even though I have not yet inspired others to become people of faith. And also I have not been a good witness to others for God. However, I would say my faith is strengthened, by the grace of God, whenever I have encountered a crisis or a challenge in my life. God has blessed me with a spirit of endurance. And so I could overcome trials with a joyful, grateful heart. O Lord, you are exalted above all forever!