Day 245: The Faithfulness of Daniel

Jeremiah 31:1-14 After the completion of the chastisement of his people, God would bless them again and bring them back to the Promised Land. True to his covenant, as a faithful bridegroom to his bride, the Lord loved his people with a steadfast and permanent fidelity. The punishments had not yet been carried out, and God, in his immeasurable love and mercy, was promising already the imminent blessing that would follow his people’s repentance and conversion. His punishment was not an expression of anger, let alone vindictiveness; rather, it was a means to effect interior conversion and reform. (CCC 220, 1611)

Ch 31:15-17 A voice is not: Sometimes called Rachel’s Lament, this is quoted in the infancy narratives of Christ with respect to the slaying of the male infants in Bethlehem in the time of Herod (cf. Mt 2:17-18), which is commemorated in the Church on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Historically, Rachel was the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin; symbolically, Rachel represents all of Israel, whose children were deported to Babylon, Traditionally, Rachel was said to have been buried in Ramah, and it was there that the soon-to-be-exiled Jews were assembled after the Babylonian conquest of Judah. Immediately after this lament, the Lord said once again that the exiles would return to the Promised Land.

Ch 31:18-30 This passage indicates that God’s punishments moved the Tribe of Ephraim to repentance and conversion. As was the case with Ephraim, restoration awaited all the Tribes of Israel, contingent on their repentance.

Ch 31:31-34 The New Covenant promised by God would not be written on tablets of stone but on the human heart. This interior presence of the covenant signifies the indwelling of grace to live the charity of Christ. Natural Law is written on the heart of every human person, disposing him or her to possess a basic knowledge of the existence of God and the fundamentals of moral law. The Holy Spirit guides the Church in her interpretation and application of the contents of Divine Revelation. The New and Eternal Covenant established by Christ replaced the Old Covenant of the Mosaic Law, This passage is proclaimed at the First Reading at Mass on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year B. (CCC 64, 580, 715, 1956, 1965; CSDC 25, 324)

Ch 31:33-34 Contemplation of the Word of God with the proper desire and intention strengthens our union with God. The capacity to meditate as a form of prayer depends on the grace of God. (CCC 368, 2713)

Ch 31:35-40 The order and harmony of the material world reflects both the existence of God and his providence. Similar to the laws governing creation, the moral law, which is articulated by Divine Revelation, brings about personal perfection and happiness. (CCC 346)

Daniel 14:1-27 Polytheism, the belief in multiple gods, is prohibited by the First Commandment. Any form of idolatry is a flagrant violation of the First commandment, since this practice treats false gods (or certain worldly goods) as if they were absolute goods, satisfying totally the desires of the human heart. Daniel’s uncanny wisdom unmasks the foolishness of idolatrous practices. (CCC 2112)

Ch 14:28-42 Daniel’s survival in the lion’s den is made all the more remarkable because the lions were not fed for the six days that Daniel was in the den. Daniel enjoyed God’s protection, not only from famished wild beasts but also from hunger. It is not clear whether the unusual story of Habakkuk delivering food to Daniel refers to the prophet of the Old Testament book by that name. Perhaps the intent of mentioning Habakkuk was to connect Daniel more closely with the prophetic tradition. 

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much, gosh. Lord God, thank you so much for this day. Thank you for getting us to The Book of Daniel and through The Book of Daniel. We thank you so much for bringing us to this moment. God, you are with us through everything. You bring us through distress. You bring us through tornadoes and tempests. You bring us through storms of life. And we ask that you please remind us of your presence this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”