Scripture Reading: Daniel 3:16-18
Blessed be the Lord for the gift of a day such as this. Today, the Holy Spirit wants you to know that with radical conviction of your faith in Him, you can succeed where others have failed.
Let us begin with a testimony. A brother took his wife to the hospital for child delivery. It was time for his wife to enter the labour room. A message was sent to the brother that his wife would have to be operated through Caesarean operation to have the baby. This was further affirmed by other doctors and nurses in the hospital. The brother quickly responded that, that was not the bargain he had with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament before coming to the hospital. He was shunned by those around that all that could be done is to allow the Caesarean operation or else his wife could lose her life including the baby. This was about 3pm. He told them his wife would have the baby without any operation. Bringing out his rosary, he knelt and recited the chaplet of Divine Mercy. The doctors were just about entering the theatre when his wife put to bed without the aid of the doctors or nurses. That was a miracle. The brother exercised his faith in Christ Jesus. He was convinced that the Lord had not decreed Caesarean operation for his wife to have their baby delivered. That was a leap of faith, an exercise of faith. Every Christian needs to exercise the radical nature of their faith in Jesus.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exercised such conviction in the power of God to save them from the threat of Nebuchadnezzar. They were men of utmost courage. They were ready to die for their faith in God, not minding what lies before them. Nebuchadnezzar saw the radical nature of their faith in God. They said to him, “If our God, the one we serve is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, Your Majesty, He will save us; and even if He does not, then you must know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) They knew Him in whom they had put their trust, that He could save them from all trials. They understood what it meant never to compromise their faith in God; they were not scared of what would be their lot. They stood for God. And God in turn defended them. They chose God than bow to the work of human hands. They were convinced that God was the right choice. They weren’t going to get perturbed even though the king had vowed to make the burning furnace seven times hotter. They would not compromise their faith. Even if the Lord would not save them, they had chosen to remain for God and do His will. To further express their conviction in their choice of God, they went on to tell the king that even if the Lord would not save them, they would not still bow to the statue. They were convinced that no god is great as our God. They were convinced that the statue was nothing other than some packed mud. Their belief in God was much firmed. Even in the face of death, they chose to stick to their choice of serving God, rather than the statue. Their conviction in God was very radical and this angered the King. Such was the conviction that David displayed when he was to confront the Philistines. (1 Sam. 17:32-54) The Jewish mother and her seven sons in the second book of Maccabees expressed such conviction before they were killed at the order of King Antiochus for not eating pork. They were not going to go against their religious practice even in the face of death. (2 Macc. 7:1-42) One of the sons said to the persecutors: “You have the power to do whatever you want with us, even though you also are mortal. But do you think that God has abandoned our people. God will use His power to torture you and your descendants.” (2 Macc. 7:16-17). Beloved, you cannot please God without faith. The expression of your faith in God reveals itself in radical conviction. A conviction that cannot be surmounted or suppressed by anything at all.Just as St. Paul says: “Who then can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger of death…? No, in all these things we have complete victory through Him who loved us’ (Rom.8:35-37). Shedrack, Meshach and Abednego knew nothing could separate them from the love of God. They were ready to die for their faith. They were not failures because they understood that their faith in the saving power of God would win them victory. We must express our faith in God in radical conviction, for it is this radical conviction that turns situations around.
MASS: WHITE Acts 9:31-42; Ps 116:12-13. 14-15. 16-17 (R.12); Accl. Jn 6:63c, 68c; Jn 6:60-69BVM
- Bless the Lord for the gift of His Word.
- Ask the Lord for the gift of radical faith, a faith that cannot be surmounted by any situation or powers.
- Banish from your life all forms of lukewarmness and inactivity of faith.
Exercise: Take the prayer for “Spiritual Renewal”.