the 34th Week in Ordinary Time
November 23, 2015 8:30AM
“Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
That’s what Daniel says in today’s first reading.
He is not encouraging vegetarianism, but he is trying to be faithful to God
The context is that Israel has been defeated by the Babylonian Empire.
Many of the leaders, including Daniel and three others who are mentioned in the passage, have been deported to Babylon.
This was in the area of modern-day Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
Daniel and his friends refuse to eat the food from the king’s table.
They do not want to go against their religion and eat foods that are ritually unclean.
And so, they eat vegetables and drink only water.
They are being faithful to God in a time of real adversity and danger.
It is their faithfulness that is being lifted up as a wonderful example.
I would say that faithfulness is a defining trait of a follower of Christ.
Our faithfulness usually gets expressed in the way we live out our day to day commitments, regardless of the weather and regardless of our moods.
We are called to faithfulness:
to your husband or wife, to children and friends, to neighbors and parishioners, to our workplace and daily routine, to religious practice and prayer, to God and Christ.
Faithfulness means consistency, the fulfillment of what is expected of us and the fulfillment of what we have committed ourselves to do.
Practically speaking, all of us rely on the faithfulness of others for the smooth running of life.
We also rely on the faithfulness of God to us, even when we are not faithful to Him
And so, we are to embrace an attitude and lifestyle of faithfulness.
Here, at this altar, we are united with the One who was faithful even to dying on a cross.
And so, we find our strength for faithfulness in Him.