Thursday 28 November
Today is Thursday, the 28 November, in the Thirty Fourth Week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing Psalm 4: ‘When I call, answer me, O God of justice. From anguish you released me. Have mercy and hear me.’ Prayer is a conversation with God, which means sometimes talking, and sometimes listening. As I enter into prayer, I open myself to God, to speak from the heart, and to listen with the heart, too.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Daniel.
Notice the attitude of the king towards Daniel, is he keen to see Daniel eaten by the lions? Why does he go praying and fasting? It seems that the king wanted to believe in Daniel’s God. He had to follow his own edict about the lions, but he hoped it would somehow come out right in spite of everything. How do you think the king would have felt on his way back to the lions’ den? Why does he pass a sleepless night? Does he rush to the den in the morning in a hurry to find Daniel dead? What could be the king’s reasons for wanting Daniel to be alive?
‘Daniel in the lion’s den!’ a famous title for a famous story. It comes from the same book of the Bible as the story we prayed on Monday: the three young men in the fiery furnace. Can you see how the message of both stories is similar? Daniel, like the three young men, is to be executed for being faithful to his Jewish religion in a pagan land. Once again, can you see parallels in your own life?
Listen again to the Daniel story. Notice particularly this time, the complete trust that Daniel has in God.
As this time of prayer draws to a close, ask God for the grace you need to become more like Daniel. Someone who trusts fully in God, and is considered trustworthy by others.