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Daniel Chapters

1 King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, which he set up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

2 King Nebuchadnezzar then summoned the satraps, magistrates, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, lawyers, and all the provincial authorities to assemble and attend the dedication of the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.

3 Satraps, magistrates, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, lawyers and all the provincial authorities then assembled for the dedication of the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar and stood in front of the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 A herald then loudly proclaimed: 'Peoples, nations, languages! Thus are you commanded:

5 the moment you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument, you will prostrate yourselves and worship the golden statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.

6 Anyone who does not prostrate himself and worship will immediately be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.'

7 And so, the instant all the peoples heard the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and all the other instruments, all the peoples, nations and languages prostrated themselves and worshipped the statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.

8 Some Chaldaeans then came forward and maliciously accused the Jews.

9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, 'May Your Majesty live for ever!

10 You have issued a decree, Your Majesty, to the effect that everyone on hearing the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument is to prostrate himself and worship the golden statue;

11 and that anyone who does not prostrate himself and worship is to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

12 Now, there are certain Jews to whom you have entrusted the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego; these men have ignored your command, Your Majesty; they do not serve your gods, and refuse to worship the golden statue you have set up.'

13 Shaking with fury, Nebuchadnezzar sent for Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. The men were immediately brought before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar addressed them, 'Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have set up?

15 When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, zither, harp, bagpipe and every other kind of instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you will be thrown forthwith into the burning fiery furnace; then which of the gods could save you from my power?'

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, 'Your question needs no answer from us:

17 if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, Your Majesty, he will save us;

18 and even if he does not, then you must know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have set up.'

19 This infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was changed now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual

20 and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 They were then bound in their cloaks, trousers, headgear and other garments, and thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

22 The king's command was so urgent and the heat of the furnace was so fierce, that the men carrying Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were burnt to death by the flames from the fire;

23 the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego fell, bound, into the burning fiery furnace.

24 And they walked in the heart of the flames, praising God and blessing the Lord.

25 Azariah stood in the heart of the fire, praying aloud thus:

26 May you be blessed and revered, Lord, God of our ancestors, may your name be held glorious for ever.

27 For you are upright in all that you have done for us, all your deeds are true, all your ways right, all your judgements true.

28 True is the sentence you have given in all that you have brought down on us and on Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors, for you have treated us rightly and truly, as our sins deserve.

29 Yes, we have sinned and committed a crime by deserting you, yes, we have greatly sinned; we have not listened to your commandments,

30 we have not observed them, we have not done what you commanded us to do for our own good.

31 Yes, all that you have brought down on us, all that you have done to us, you have been fully justified in doing.

32 You have handed us over to our enemies, to a lawless people, the worst of the godless, to an unjust king, the worst in the whole world;

33 today we have no right to open our mouths, shame and dishonour are the lot of those who serve and worship you.

34 Do not abandon us for ever, for the sake of your name; do not repudiate your covenant,

35 do not withdraw your favour from us, for the sake of Abraham, your friend, of Isaac, your servant, and of Israel, your holy one,

36 to whom you promised to make their descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the grains of sand on the seashore.

37 Lord, we have become the least of all nations, we are put to shame today throughout the world, because of our sins.

38 We now have no leader, no prophet, no prince, no burnt offering, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can make offerings to you

39 and win your favour. But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit, be as acceptable to you

40 as burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fat lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today, and may it please you that we follow you whole-heartedly, since those who trust in you will not be shamed.

41 And now we put our whole heart into following you, into fearing you and seeking your face once more.

42 Do not abandon us to shame but treat us in accordance with your gentleness, in accordance with the greatness of your mercy.

43 Rescue us in accordance with your wonderful deeds and win fresh glory for your name, O Lord.

44 Confusion seize all who ill-treat your servants: may they be covered with shame, deprived of all their power, and may their strength be broken.

45 Let them learn that you alone are God and Lord, glorious over the whole world.

46 All this time, the king's servants, who had thrown them into the furnace, had been stoking it with crude oil, pitch, tow and brushwood

47 until the flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace

48 and, leaping out, burnt those Chaldaeans to death who were standing round it.

49 But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace beside Azariah and his companions; he drove the flames of the fire outwards from the furnace

50 and, in the heart of the furnace, wafted a coolness to them as of the breeze and dew, so that the fire did not touch them at all and caused them no pain or distress.

51 Then all three in unison began to sing, glorifying and blessing God in the furnace, with the words:

52 May you be blessed, Lord, God of our ancestors, be praised and extolled for ever. Blessed be your glorious and holy name, praised and extolled for ever.

53 May you be blessed in the Temple of your sacred glory, exalted and glorified above all for ever:

54 blessed on the throne of your kingdom, exalted above all, glorified for ever:

55 blessed are you who fathom the abyss, enthroned on the winged creatures, praised and exalted above all for ever:

56 blessed in the expanse of the heavens, exalted and glorified for ever.

57 Bless the Lord, all the Lord's creation: praise and glorify him for ever!

58 Bless the Lord, angels of the Lord, praise and glorify him for ever!

59 Bless the Lord, heavens, praise and glorify him for ever!

60 Bless the Lord, all the waters above the heavens, praise and glorify him for ever!

61 Bless the Lord, powers of the Lord, praise and glorify him for ever!

62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ever!

63 Bless the Lord, stars of heaven, praise and glorify him for ever!

64 Bless the Lord, all rain and dew, praise and glorify him for ever!

65 Bless the Lord, every wind, praise and glorify him for ever!

66 Bless the Lord, fire and heat, praise and glorify him for ever!

67 Bless the Lord, cold and warmth, praise and glorify him for ever!

68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ever!

69 Bless the Lord, frost and cold, praise and glorify him for ever!

70 Bless the Lord, ice and snow, praise and glorify him for ever!

71 Bless the Lord, nights and days, praise and glorify him for ever!

72 Bless the Lord, light and darkness, praise and glorify him for ever!

73 Bless the Lord, lightning and cloud, praise and glorify him for ever!

74 Let the earth bless the Lord: praise and glorify him for ever!

75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ever!

76 Bless the Lord, every plant that grows, praise and glorify him for ever!

77 Bless the Lord, springs of water, praise and glorify him for ever!

78 Bless the Lord, seas and rivers, praise and glorify him for ever!

79 Bless the Lord, whales, and everything that moves in the waters, praise and glorify him for ever!

80 Bless the Lord, every kind of bird, praise and glorify him for ever!

81 Bless the Lord, all animals wild and tame, praise and glorify him for ever!

82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ever!

83 Bless the Lord, O Israel, praise and glorify him for ever!

84 Bless the Lord, priests, praise and glorify him for ever!

85 Bless the Lord, his servants, praise and glorify him for ever!

86 Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the upright, praise and glorify him for ever!

87 Bless the Lord, faithful, humble-hearted people, praise and glorify him for ever!

88 Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, bless the Lord, praise and glorify him for ever!-For he has rescued us from the Underworld, he has saved us from the hand of Death, he has snatched us from the burning fiery furnace, he has drawn us from the heart of the flame!

89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his love is everlasting.

90 Bless the Lord, the God of gods, all who fear him, give praise and thanks to him, for his love is everlasting!

91 King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, 'Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?' They answered the king, 'Certainly, Your Majesty'.

92 'But', he went on, 'I can see four men walking free in the heart of the fire and quite unharmed! And the fourth looks like a child of the gods!'

93 Nebuchadnezzar approached the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, servants of God Most High, come out, come here!' And from the heart of the fire out came Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

94 The satraps, magistrates, governors, and advisers of the king crowded round the three men to examine them: the fire had had no effect on their bodies: not a hair of their heads had been singed, their cloaks were not scorched, no smell of burning hung about them. Nebuchadnezzar said,

95 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego: he has sent his angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their God.

96 I therefore decree as follows, "Peoples, nations, and languages! Let any of you speak disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, and I shall have him torn limb from limb and his house turned into a dunghill; for there is no other god who can save like this."'

97 The king then showered favours on Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

98 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to all peoples, nations and languages dwelling throughout the world: may you prosper more and more!

99 'It is my pleasure to make known the signs and wonders with which the Most High God has favoured me.

100 How great his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, his empire endures age after age!'

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July 24th, 2014

Reading 1, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13: 1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 'Go and ... Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11: 6 your saving justice is like towering ... Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17: 10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why do you talk ... continue reading

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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
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St. John Boste
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