Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a reflection on today's Lectionary readings

First reading: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Psalm: Daniel 3:52-56
Gospel: John 8:31-42

The Father sent his only begotten Son to free and to save us from sin and death. And God frees and saves us through the Son’s Cross and the empty tomb.

The Cross and the empty tomb then reveal that the God we worship is not some remote and distant deity; but that the God we worship is Emmanuel, God with us.

God is with us through our trials, difficulties, our crosses in life.

God is with us as we abandon our sins, putting them to death, putting part of ourselves to death, and therefore purifying ourselves spiritually, as gold is tested and purified in fire.

Through this fire of purification and through all the fires of testing and troubles and trials in our lives, God is there with us, walking through the fire with us, as he did long ago with Shedrach, Mishach, and Abednego.

And so may the words of these three men, their words of praise, the words of today’s psalm, always resound in our hearts to the God who comes to us, the God who is with us in consecrated bread and wine, the God who is with us to free and to save us:

“Glory and praise forever! Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our Fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”

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