Monday, November 23, 2015

In all your thoughts, words and action, do you strive to be a friend of God? - Daily Reflections November 23,2015

King Nebuchadnezzar ordered his chamberlain to gather young men who are intelligent, handsome, sturdy and eloquent to be a part of his advisers. Among this elite group were four young Israelites — Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. To these choice young men, the king allotted a special portion of his royal food and wine.
       But the four young men were faithful to Israel’s covenant with God. They would not defile themselves with the king’s food and wine. They would not eat forbidden food, i.e., food offered to pagan gods. Informed that they would incur the king’s wrath should they refuse, Daniel challenged the royal chamberlain to give them only water and vegetables for 10 days while the rest eat the royal food. After 10 days, Daniel and his three friends proved to be healthier and stronger than the rest.
       This reading is not about dietary suggestions nor a pitch for the organic and vegetarian lifestyle. The point of the reading is this: When you partake of something contrary to God and His purpose, you make yourself an enemy of God. When you partake of something consecrated for God and His purpose, you make yourself a friend of God.
       Daniel and his friends later on were gifted by God with the extraordinary gifts of knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the special gift of interpretation of dreams and visions.
       When one strives to remain a faithful friend of God, He is all the more faithful. Just like God whom Daniel and his  companions praised in the psalms as the one who “looks into the depths from his throne upon the cherubim” (see the Responsorial Psalm), friends of God grow into a deep understanding of His ways and actions through the Spirit.
       The gifts of Daniel and his three friends are not really the promise of a vegetarian diet. That is a promise of God to all His faithful friends. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: In all your thoughts, words and action, do you strive to be a friend of God?
Winter, spring, summer or fall, You’ve got a friend in me, O God. Amen.

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