Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 / John 8:31-42
Jesus talks about his teaching
“Keep my word and you will know the truth.”
It has been said that some truths can be verified as being truthful only by living them out. Jesus has something like this in mind when he says in today’s reading: “If you live according to my teaching ... then you will know the truth.” In other words, the truth of what Jesus says will be discovered in the process of living it out. For example, by forgiving your enemy, you discover this is the right thing to do. By praying for those who wrong you, you discover this is the right thing to do.
By not passing judgment on your neighbor, you discover this is the right thing to do.
Do our doubts about the teaching of Jesus arise from our failure to live out his teaching? “If you wish to be convinced of eternal truths, do not augment your arguments, but weed out your passions.” Blaise Pascal
The fiery furnace of tribulation is something we will come across in our lives. Not just once, but many times. It is in this fiery furnace that our faith in God is tested, our faith in prayer is tested, our faith in others is tested, and our faith in ourselves is tested.
The fiery furnace comes in all forms: the loss of a job, the hurt form a broken or painful relationship, ill-treatment and accusations from others, etc.
And we often get trapped in the flames of doubt, despair, anger and resentment.
In the 1st reading, when the three young men were threatened with the fiery furnace, they stuck to their faith in God.
In doing so, they were freed from their fear of death.
They believed in God, and that set them free to face and overcome the fear of the fiery furnace.
It is also by believing in God and in His Word of truth that will set us free.
By forgiving those who hurt us, we are freed.
By praying for those who wrong us, we are freed.
By not nailing judgment on others, we are freed.
By loving others, we are freed.
The flames of the fiery furnace may not go off, but by believing and living in the truth, we live in the freedom of walking together with our God in that fiery furnace. (SY)