March 12, 2008

Hiding in the Stove, Eh?

Said Bugs Bunny to his adversary in one of my favorite Looney Tunes. But seriously, folks, in today's Mass we hear the story of the three young men in the furnace from the book of Daniel:
King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.” Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
I know a friar who maintains a devotion to these three young men, and prays to them all the time. Some might think it's sad that his experience of religious life makes him identify with being bound and thrown into a furnace, but on the other hand it's not a bad comparison. But the good news is that God identifies with us in our trials and sufferings, whether as the mysterious fourth man in the furnace or as Jesus being tortured on the cross.

And, just for fun, the Beastie Boys' treatment of the episode:


ben in Denver said...

There is a great Veggie Tales cartoon about this story. "Nezzar" as Nebuchadnezzar is called in the story, runs a chocolate bunny factory, and tries to make the heroes, whose names are simplified the Rack, Schak and Benny, bow down and worship the giant chocolate bunny.

Veggies Tales can be an entertaining supplement to a good religious education program.

Holy Water Salt said...

I am sharing this with an insane brother I know. Yes, he is fun, crazy and very holy despite that or because of it.