Read Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28, Daniel 3:62-67, Luke 21:12-19 

“Then they brought in the golden and silver vessels which had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately the fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand; and the king saw the hand as it wrote.” (Daniel 5:3-6)

Imagine coming home one day only to meet your children scrubbing the floor diligently with your most expensive piece of clothing. The sin of King Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar in today’s first reading is the sin of sacrilege.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Number 2120: “Sacrilege is profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God.” This includes the church building itself, sacred vessels, linens, liturgical books, the crucifix, rosaries (and other sacramentals), as well as items such as the pulpit, the chairs, and persons dedicated to God. 

Belshazzar knew what those vessels were meant for but he was trying to challenge the existence of God and he got what he deserved. Let us examine our hearts: Do I respect sacred vessels, linens, books, and other items used for liturgical worship? Do I even treat the church as God’s house?

On the other hand, do I respect persons who have been consecrated to God? David refused to strike Saul even when he had the opportunity, not because of Saul’s personal credibility but because David considered him as God’s anointed. Is this my attitude to consecrated persons today? A lack of respect for things dedicated to God is a lack of respect for God Himself.

In our Gospel passage, Jesus teaches us that tough times don’t last but tough people do. There would be some sacrifice for our faith; we may have to suffer many things but as Jesus concludes: “by your endurance, you will gain your lives.” 

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my respect for what is yours. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saints Andrew Dũng-Lạc & Companions. Bible Study: Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28, Daniel 3:62-67, Luke 21:12-19).