Wednesday: 20 March, 2013 –– Fifth Week in Lent
Daniel 3:14–20, 91–92, 95 / John 8:31–42
The Old Testament reading today has the three men standing before Nebuchadnezzar and saying: If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up (v17,18).
This is the attitude of God’s faithful. Queen Esther was put in the situation of pleading to the king for her people, but anyone going into the king’s presence without invitation was subject to execution. After reflection and prayer, Esther came to this decision: ....I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16).
Job, in the midst of his bewildering pain, cried out: Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15).
The prophet Habakkuk, seeing the judgment of God on the horizon because of Judah’s sin, still affirmed:
Though the fig tree do not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation (Hab 3:17–18).
These expressions are in the spirit of Mary’s response, which is our ultimate model of abandonment to God: ....let it be to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).
How can we embrace such an abandonment? Jesus says, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
John writes in his first letter: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear (1Jn 4:18).
Let us seek to love the One who first loved us –– and to enter into that love more and more –– so that no fear in this world is greater than our confidence in his love. This is abandonment.