Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
The three faithful men are not about to throw away their principles for the sake of their lives. This is an extremely honorable position to take as death by fire cannot be a very comfortable way to die! However, God decides to stand beside the three in the midst of the fire and they are protected, leading to a semi-conversion of Nebuchadnezzar. It is in the fires of testing that our faith is purified; it is in the same place that our witness to God is the strongest!
14 King Nebuchadnezzar said: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? 15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! 18 But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.” 19 Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual 20 and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the whitehot furnace. 24  King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Assuredly, O king,” they answered. 25  “But”, he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like an angel.” 28  Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
P S A L M
Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R: Glory and praise for ever!
29 [Dan 3:52] “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; and blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.” (R) 30 [Dan 3:53] “Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.” (R) 31 [Dan 3:54] “Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 32 [Dan 3:55] “Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 33 [Dan 3:56] “Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.” (R)
G O S P E L
The Word of God is the true home of a disciple of Jesus. The first place that we will look for answers to the questions of life should be the Word of God. The first place we turn for consolation should be the same. It is in the Word of God that all that is necessary for the sake of our salvation is revealed to us. Let us not ignore such a wonderful source of grace for our salvation.
31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. 36 So if a Son frees you, then you will truly be free. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. 38 I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.” 39 They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. 40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. 41 You are doing the works of your father!” [So] they said to him, “We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
think: It is in the fires of testing that our faith is purified.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Kings 12-13
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint Heribert of Cologne
Saint Heribert of Cologne was the son of Duke Hugo of Worms. He was born in Worms, Germany in 970. The young Heribert was educated in the monastery at Gorze in Lorraine. On his return home, he was given a canonry then was ordained priest. Heribert was active in both secular and church affairs, such that in 994, he became chancellor to King Otto III and in 998, archbishop of Cologne.
As imperial chancellor, he accompanied Otto III to Italy. He was with the king until his death at Paterno. Saint Heribert was not in good conditions with the successor of the throne, King Henry II. But in the end, the new king learned to acknowledge the saint s wisdom and uprightness that he too appointed him his chancellor.
As archbishop and pastor of his flock, Saint Heribert divided his income between the church and the poor, keeping only what was enough to provide for his own needs. The archbishop, even during his lifetime, was already looked upon as a saint. He was an active peacemaker and was known to have performed miracles.
It was reported that during a severe drought, the bishop invoked rain. This caused a heavy rainfall to end the drought. The archbishop also built the Benedictine monastery at Deutz and was reputed for maintaining a strict clerical discipline.
Saint Heribert died on March 16, 1021 in Cologne, Germany and was canonized in 1075 by Pope Gregory VII.
Saint Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy Israelite owner of tin mines during the first century. He was a disciple of Jesus but remained undeclared because of his fear of the Jews.
After the Lord s crucifixion, Joseph requested from Pontius Pilate that he get the Body of Jesus. With the help of Nicodemus, he wrapped His Body in fine linen and grave bands and laid it in his tomb.
The feast of Saint Joseph of Arimathea is celebrated by the Greek Church on July 31 and by the Roman Church on March 17.