"Thereupon Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire." —Daniel 3:93
At the beginning of Lent, we heard about Jesus fasting for forty days and overcoming three temptations from the devil (Mt 4:2ff). Traditionally, temptations have been ascribed to three sources: the world, the flesh, and the devil. In the book of Daniel, God's people were attacked three times. First, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace (Dn 3:20). Second, Daniel was thrown into the lions' den where he faced being devoured (Dn 6:17). Third, Daniel was thrown into the lions' den again where he faced not only the lions but starvation (Dn 14:31).
These three attacks on God's people can be analogous to the flesh, the devil, and the world. We Christians live in a fiery furnace of lust, addiction, and rage. Yet by living in the Holy Spirit we can be untouched by the flames of the flesh (see Dn 3:94). Second, the devil is described as a "roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Pt 5:8). But we can close "the lions' mouths" (Dn 6:23) in the name of Jesus. Third, we Christians live in the lions' den of our culture of death. The world hates the word of God (Jn 17:14) and wants to starve us to death spiritually and make us spiritually anorexic. But the Lord will feed us miraculously and make us hungry for His prophetic word (see Dn 14:33ff).
Holy Trinity, give us three victories this Lent.
Prayer: Father, may this Lent lead to the total victory of Easter.
Promise: "If you live according to My teaching, you are truly My disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." —Jn 8:31-32
Praise: St. Isidore wrote: "We must first learn how the Scriptures are to be understood, and then see how to expound them with profit and in a manner worthy of them."
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000