YEAR A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: IT’S LENT; FAST FROM FEAR AND EMBRACE COURAGE AND INTEGRITY. GOD NEVER ABANDONS HIS OWN
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: DANIEL 3:14-20.24-25.28, PSALM, DAN. 3, JOHN 8:31-42
Happy new month beloved friends. May humanity’s history be rewritten this April, amen.
The author of the book of Daniel would want us to stand with God, come what may; he’d desire that we have the same pluck or nerve that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had when we are threatened by the storms of life.
Placed side by side, Jesus and the author of Daniel have overriding lessons that must be learnt, lessons that are focal to our Christian vocation. For Jesus, discipleship begins with belief then goes on to mean remaining in God’s word. Further, it consists in learning and loving and upholding the truth not matter what threatens. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were surely disciples of God: they believed God beyond any peril, they were persistent in their belief, they knew the truth – only God is to be praised and exalted forevermore (Dan. 3:29). This being the case, they had the right guts not to bow to the king, something that never happened in those days.
For Jesus, also, discipleship results in freedom: it frees us from fear like it did Shadrach and his friends, it frees us from sin and makes us friends with God, and it frees us from ourselves leaving us entirely dependent on God as did Shadrach and his companions. It finally frees us from the claws of others like Shadrach and his friends were freed from Nebuchadnezzar and his fiery furnace. Having freed us, discipleship reminds us that the spirit God gave to us is not one of fear (2Tim. 1:7). It reminds us that God has called us by name and we are his; therefore, when we pass through the fiercest storms, he’ll be that other ‘Man’ shielding us from being drowned. And should we be trapped in the fieriest of fires, he’ll become the needful companion providing the necessary cool (Isa. 43:1-2). Indeed, it pays to be a disciple of Christ.
We are encouraged by these young boys today to stand up for our faith and be ready to die for it. We should be able to trust God enough to say like these men: “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you, if our God whom we serve can save us from the furnace and from your hands, may he save us! But even if he wouldn’t, may you know that we won’t worship your god…” (Dan. 3:16-18). This reminds me of the resolve of the lady Susanna who said to the ‘tsufirii’ elders in Daniel 13:22-23; “I am completely trapped…but it is better for me not to do it and fall into your power than to offend my God”.
Blind trust, regardless of whether or not God would rescue us is needful at times. Beloved, as promised by the Psalmist 94:14, our God wouldn’t forsake us, he’ll always be there as he was for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; he’ll always intervene as he did for the lady Susanna. For our part, we may just need to free ourselves from sin, become disciples and commit our causes to him as Jeremiah did (Jer. 11:20). He’d save us without fail. Amen.
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE THIS LENT