Today we read the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three young Israelites were among many who had been captured and taken to Babylon. Being of royal descent, they were chosen to be educated in the language and literature of the Babylonians but in all the time they spent in the King’s courts, they did not relinquish their faith in God and would not serve the pagan gods of the Babylonians. They refused to bow down and worship the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. As punishment for their disobedience to the King, these young men of faith were bound and hurled into a fiery furnace which was so hot that even those who prepared it were burnt to death.
We read that the King noticed the three young men walking about in the flames together with an angel. All were completely unharmed. He ordered them to come out of the burning furnace. The three young men who had been thrown into the fire which should have resulted in them being instantly burnt to death, came walking out of those flames very much alive and completely unscathed.
Then something more miraculous than that happened. This cruel king had a complete change of heart and issued a public decree that no one should say anything against the God whom these three men worshipped.
Here we see the results of a king meeting three men whose faith was on fire and it had a very profound effect on him which led to his incredible conversion experience.
God wants His people to be on fire for their faith. He wants our faith to be active and alive. We read in Revelations 3:15-16 that God has no time for lukewarm people. He gives a very strong warning to such people.
Lukewarm people are easy to spot by their attitude, behaviour and lifestyle. They go to Mass because they need to fulfill the Sunday observance but fail to enter fully into the celebration by praying the prayers and singing the hymns. They go through the motions to fulfill an obligation but their hearts are far from Jesus. The flame of faith has been reduced to a tiny flicker.
We need again to be fired up in our faith. Our flame of faith needs to be burning brightly so that others may see that we have something special in our life and this may well lead to them having their own change of heart.
Videos of daily Mass from our parish are on YouTube. Search for ‘Bryanston Catholic Church’ on YouTube to find our channel, or look on www.bryanstoncatholic.co.za for the link. Experience Holy Mass and let your faith shine through.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love. Change my Heart O God! Amen