LENT, Week 5: Wednesday

“Now, if you are ready to fall down and worship the statue I made, whenever you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, dulcimer, harp, double-flute, and all the other musical instruments, then all will be well; if not, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”” (Daniel 3:15.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“But I say all this now, and select all the histories that contain trials and tribulations and the wrath of kings and their evil designs, in order that we may fear nothing except offending God. For then also was there a furnace burning; yet they derided it but feared sin. For they knew that if they were consumed in the fire, they should suffer nothing that was to be dreaded, but if they were guilty of impiety, they should undergo the extremes of misery. It is the greatest punishment to commit sin, though we may remain unpunished - it is the greatest honor and repose to live virtuously, though we may be punished.” (Homilies Concering the Statues, 6)

Enlighten, O God of compassion,
the hearts of Your children, sanctified by penance,
and in Your kindness
grant those You stir to a sense of devotion
a gracious hearing when they cry out to you.
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