The first reading is a well-known story for most of us. Daniel is thrown into the den of the lions out of disobedience to the decrees of the king.
The king has great admiration for Daniel for his exceptional qualities of administration. In fact, the King plans to have him rule over the kingdom. Out of jealousy, his fellow administrators seek to make charges against him.  Daniel is the faithful Jew. He prays three times a day, the custom of the Jews. He prays facing Jerusalem in his land of exile. Even now, Jews will pray at the remaining walls of Jerusalem. While at prayer his conspirators rush to the King to demand his life. He has disobeyed the absolute and irrevocable decree of the king – no one is to address plea except to the King. The King is disturbed. He considers Daniel as one of his chief of staff. Because of his decree and its irrevocable status, it must be obeyed. Daniel the disobedient must be punished for his crime against the King.
In a remarkable act of God, Daniel is saved from the lions. God in his goodness kept the lions at distance from Daniel, the whole evening. It was another act of the sovereign God. With this miracle at hand, the King issues a new decree- the God of Daniel is to be revered and feared. In a beautiful testimony, the King converts the whole nation to the Deliverer and Saviour, the God of Daniel, the Lord God of Israel.
The story reveals the just rewards of the ones who place their faith in God. Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God, proclaims St Paul. He who remains faithful to the end, enduring all trials and difficulties, will always see the victory of God. This is the story of Jesus. Right to the very end of his life, he placed his faith in the Lord, the only one who could save him. The story of Daniel is a fine example for us all. In the face of trying circumstances, are we willing to trust on the Lord?

What are the pressing issues surrounding your life. Will you stand up for the truth?

Lord, you are Deliverer and Saviour. Save me from those who persecute me Amen