|Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14,
Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
In the gospel today Jesus says that being a Christian isnít always easy. People will put you down, maybe even put you to death, just for being a Christian: just for talking about Jesus. But He says He will give his followers the words for life so they will not be harmed. He also says some of them will be put to death. This seems slightly contradictory to me. He says, some of you will be put to death. Then in the next sentence he says, yet not a hair of your head will be harmed. But just because they were put to death doesnít mean that they were harmed. They might lose this life on earth, but they would gain life everlasting.
In the first reading King Belshazzar got drunk and used the holy chalices to have drinks with dinner, and he and his friends gave blessings to the gods of gold and silver instead of to the true God. The writing was on the wall. He was not deserving of the riches of God, and his lands would be given to the people who appreciated the gifts of God and gave God thanks for them and used them wisely. The king knew better, but he didnít stand up for God. He gave his thanks to statues, to inanimate objects. He had his life, but lost his lands and more importantly lost his faith.
The psalm talks of all creation giving thanks and praise to God.
Everything he has made praises him, and people should praise him under
all conditions -- even when itís difficult or dangerous to do so.
Belshazzar reverted to praising hunks of metal. In his greed and
in his drunkenness he denied God. In the gospel Jesus says it might
be easier for His people to deny Him. By denying their God they could
save their lives, but if they lose their faith and they lose their souls,
what have they gained in saving their lives. Belshazzar kept his
life, but not his soul. What did he have left? There are worse
things than dying for oneís faith. Those who stood up for Jesus,
even if they died for Him, would be born to eternal life.
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