Week XXXIV: Friday

“The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.* While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a human being, and given a human mind.” (Daniel 7:4.)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verses from today’s First Reading:

“The kingdom of the Babylonians was not called a lion but a lioness, on account of its brutality and cruelty, or else because of its luxurious, lust-serving manner of life. For writers on the natural history of beasts assert that lionesses are fiercer than lions, especially if they are nursing their cubs, and constantly are passionate in their desire for sexual relations. And as for the fact that she possessed eagle’s wings, this indicates the pride of the all-powerful kingdom, the ruler of which declares in Isaiah, “Above the stars of heaven I will place my throne, and I shall be like unto the Most High.” Therefore he is told, “Though you are borne on high like an eagle, from there I will drag you down.” Moreover, just as the lion occupies kingly rank among beasts, so also the eagle among the birds. But it should also be said that the eagle enjoys a long span of life and that the kingdom of Assyrians had held sway for many generations. And as for the fact that the wings of the lioness or eagle were torn away, this signifies the other kingdoms over which it had ruled and soared about in the world.” (Commentary on Daniel, 7.)

Stir up the will of Your faithful,
we pray, O Lord,
that, striving more eagerly
to bring Your divine work to fruitful completion,
they may receive in greater measure
the healing remedies Your kindness bestows.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen