Some think, ‘it is just children who break boundaries that their parents/guardians set for them.’ A parent/guardian says, ‘don’t go to such and such a place’ or ‘you must be home at a certain time’ etc and the instruction falls on ears that choose not to hear. This time of pandemic, the authorities restrict play dates for children, place limits on travel, house visits, shopping, leisure and social activities and so much more. These restrictions cause stress for people. They limit a person’s freedom. Many unable to cope with such limits on their lives do not persevere and take a chance of going where they please. Other personalities stand firm in what the authorities ask. The authorities impose the restrictions, to which people make individual and personal choices. There are consequences for the choices a person makes.
The reading proclaimed at Mass today (Dan 3:14-20) tells of three young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused King Nebuchadnezzar to worship one of his gods, the golden statue. He asked the young men if they were prepared to worship the golden statue at the sound of the various musical instruments. He warned them of the consequences of not worshipping the statue- they would be ‘thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace.’ He further tested them asking, ‘and where is the god that could save you from my power?’ They told the king of their trust in God, and he was infuriated. King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the army to throw the three young men into the furnace. God saved the men in the fire and in disbelief the king said, I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm.’ Nebuchadnezzar realised that God sent his angel to rescue the men. He recognised that ‘they preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’
The psalm proclaimed by the assembly (Dan 3: 52), offers ‘glory and praise’ to God for evermore. God desires our praise and thanks each day.
The Gospel (Jn 8:31-42) proclaims Jesus’ teaching to the Jews. He invites them to the way of discipleship by accepting his word and teaching. Through the word, they will learn the truth of Jesus’ identity. The truth will set them free (as it did to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). The Jews argued with Jesus saying they were sons of Abraham. Jesus tries to explain to them about their Father in heaven but he sees ‘that nothing I say has penetrated into you.’ Jesus teaches them the truth about God but they do not believe. The truth about God is that there is one God and God sent Jesus into the world to proclaim his name.
The message today for disciples is that they worship one God, three distinct persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. This is our faith. We proclaim our faith as we say the Apostles’ Creed. The first of the Ten Commandments states ‘I am the Lord your God, you shall not have any strange gods before me.’ The disciple honours God when he/she prays, ‘To you glory and praise for evermore.’
Today we give glory and praise to God for our family and friends, for the gift of a new day, for the wonders of nature this springtime and for all who care for us.
VERITAS publications provides online resources on the theme of faith, belief and trust in the one true God, the Mystery of the Trinity. There is also access to the children’s Grow in Love I nGrá Dé e-book.
- Cré na nAspal/ The Apostles’ Creed
- Gníomh Creidimh/Act of Faith
- ‘To you glory and praise for evermore.’
- Find out how many words you can make from the name Nebuchadnezzar
- You might draw a picture of the following musical instruments, horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, and bagpipe. Browse the internet to check out the sounds of these instruments. Do you play a musical instrument? What is your favourite musical instrument? Do you associate any of these musical instruments with a musician?
- From your Bible or from the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book read the Ten Commandments from the Book of Exodus
Sr Anne Neylon