Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Daniel 3:25 -43
The flames in the fiery furnace stoked to capacity by Babylonian nationalists spelled certain death for the three young Jewish men thrown into it – or so everyone believed. Just as surely as it seemed that the roaring fire would instantly consume the three Jewish exiles, so the flames of death, deceits and the fear of the destruction of all that is good, lick at our feet, hissing, “You will surely die a worthless death.” But Azariah (Daniel) and his two faithful friends knew what to do. They stood in the midst of the flames and prayed to God with a song of praise. Although they had been tied up hand and foot to be thrown into the midst of the flames, all watching witnessed the three young men in the company of a fourth, ‘who looked like and angel’, walking around in the fire. “They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt!” as King Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, before calling them to come out of the fire. ‘They had not been harmed by the fire,’ we are told. When the flames of death, deceits and destruction threaten to burn us to a crisp in heart, mind, soul or body, we too have the option to turn to our God with prayers and praise, so that we too might leave the various ‘fiery furnaces’ of life behind. Will I die of fright in the flames of death, deceits and destruction, or will I faith-fully voice prayers and praises to God? Holy Spirit of God, help me stand in prayer and praise amidst the flames of life.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. (Psalm 25:5)
And when the flame flashed forth, we saw a miracle, we to whom it was given to see. And we are preserved in order to relate to the rest what happened.
The witnesses to the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp
See the 8th paragraph on this page, at a Greek Orthodox Archdiocese blog page for an account of the Martyrdom by fire of St. Polycarp, first Bishop of Rome.
Soli ad gloriam
Gospel Mystery of the Day on FaceBook
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.