By Sharon Wilson
Today’s first reading has all the trappings of an excellent Cecil B. DeMille movie… Complete with Charlton Heston cast in a leading role! We have the three followers of the true God; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and they will not serve the God of King Nebuchadnezzar. The names in themselves cause me to never volunteer to be a lector at a Mass with this reading. In fact, I know a priest who frequently, and lovingly in an effort to remember the pronunciation, refers to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as Me-shack, You-shack and the Bungalow!
The names and setting may harken to an ancient time but the story could be placed into my life today. The golden statue that the faithful three are asked to worship can be likened to other idols in modern times. For many, it can be the idolization of money, power or status, but when I read this today the idol took on a different form.
The faithful three are infused with the love of God and the truth of who they are as children of God. With that knowledge and love, they can endure anything. The idol that I find that others want me to worship today is not made of gold or shaped like a calf, it is the idol of self-doubt and denying my own self-worth. King Nebuchadnezzar is like a bully wanting the three to believe the lie.
I find even today as a woman well into my fifties, people around me who are no different than the bullies on the playground or the King on his thrown. Others around us want us to believe the lie that we are not good enough or force us to be under their power. Thankfully we have the truth. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit who dances in the flames and the fire with us to remind us of who we are.
I am a child of God. I am a woman of faith. God is real and He knows me and loves me.
It saddens me to think that I sometimes lose that faith and believe the lie. It is only when I walk with Christ and remain in that relationship with the Son of God that I am free from the lie.
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Only daily prayer and daily scripture keeps me in relationship with Him. My daily prayer is like the angel of the Lord in the fire with Me-shack, You-shack and the Bungalow or the friend who defends me against the bully on the playground. I can’t do it without Christ, but with Christ at my side I can be set free.
What lies do you believe?
What bullies do you face?
Imagine Christ at your side on the playground of life to defend you. Believe the truth.
About the Author:
Sharon Wilson – Wife, Mother, Writer, Catholic Speaker, and a WINE Specialist. Sharon has a degree in education and has worked as a freelance writer, Respect Life Coordinator, a teacher, in advertising, radio, buyer and in youth advocacy – She even rode an elephant in the circus once! Sharon speaks, writes and shares about God’s healing and about the great gift of being Catholic at SharonAgnesWilson.com