Daily Reflection
November 24th, 2005

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Dept.
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Thursday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Daniel 6:12-28
Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
Luke 21:20-28

We live in fearful times – tsunamis, hurricanes, terrorism – you name it. A Jesuit friend said he has even fielded a call from a reporter asking him if all these signs pointed to the end of the world, the subject of today’s Gospel. My friend told the reporter he had no way of knowing and wasn’t terribly concerned about that.

The critical issue isn’t what’s happening so much as it is how we respond in faith to what happens – the lesson of both today’s Old Testament and Gospel readings. No matter when and how the world ends, we all sooner or later face a personal end in which we will have to account to our creator for how we have spent our lives. Have we lived in faith, which is to say generously, or have we allowed fear of our personal “lions”to keep us from living as we should?

It’s a pretty safe bet that none of us will be thrust into a cage with a hungry lion like Daniel but we can all absorb the major lesson of this reading. Have faith that God will be with you if you take a risk for moral reasons. That’s hard. We say we believe but it’s far easier to avoid risks and get along to go along.

Have we kept quiet about injustice because we are afraid of offending someone? Are we afraid to speak out about ethical issues at work for fear of losing a job or just making the atmosphere at the coffee break uncomfortable? Are we afraid to venture out of our comfort zones to help others?

Probably the difference between the saints and the rest of us is that they REALLY believe strongly enough to risk the lions. The rest of us would LIKE to trust God that much but can’t – at least not quite enough to surrender our fears. Maybe we can all resolve to start by taking just a small risk to do something good or right and then we’ll find that our lions weren’t as bad as we had imagined them to be.

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