Reading for Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent Year A
Theme: Do not be enslaved by Fear: Trust God Even in Bad Times.
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Wednesday April 1 2020.
Read Daniel 3:14-28 and John 8:31-42.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18.
As we gradually draw closer to Holy Week, our readings especially our Gospel passages present the hostile exchanges between Jesus and the Jews. It is no longer a secret that they were plotting to kill Jesus. Jesus said to his persecutors: “If God were your Father, you would love me.” (John 8:42).
Put simply, the world hates us because we are children of God and we do not belong to the world. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego incurred the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar because they would not serve his idols and his golden image.
Can we liken the situation of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to what is happening in our world today? Precisely, the government’s order banning all public gatherings? Aren’t we supposed to act like Shadrach and his colleagues? Aren’t we supposed to defy the order and gather in our churches?
The answer is NO. Why? Unlike the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, no one is forcing us to bow to any idol or worship any false image. In fact, the very opposite is even the case. The lock down imposed by the state is not religious persecution but an opportunity for us to spend more time at home for the things of God, an opportunity to spend long hours in prayer since we are not going out anyway.
If our worship of God was only restricted to the Church building before now, this is time for us to turn our homes into Churches. It is time to realize that by virtue of our baptism, we are also priests. The Government lock down should not be an excuse for idleness, evil or the worship of false gods.
Be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Do not be moved by Fear. Continue to trust God even within the fire of this Pandemic. Say with them, if God so pleases to spare me from this virus, so be it, but even if God doesn’t, I will not abandon my faith, I will not be angry with God. I will continue to worship God until I die. Faith is not all about shouting “I receive it” to material prosperity, Faith is remaining steadfast even in bad times. It is singing like Paul and Silas even in prison.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, let not my love for life enslave me to sin. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent. Bible Study: Daniel 3:14-28 and John 8:31-42