One of the themes that links today’s readings is the truth. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to bow before the lies of King Nebuchednezzar and remain faithful to the truth of their faith in God. In the gospel, Jesus extols the beauty of the truth and how it sets us free to live our lives totally for God. As we see in the first reading, this is absolutely true. Even if the fire had consumed the three men, they would still have been free, though, in this case, having already entered into the life that is to come. This is the case of all those who have been martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ.

This sort of commitment to the truth is one of the things that is so lacking from today’s society that is so caught up in relativism and skepticism towards absolute truth, that it has lost its way in the mire of trying to please all people all of the time and ultimately failing to please no one! Society’s ambivalence toward the truth can be seen in many ways. For example, how can one seriously make sense of society’s failure to protect the unborn in the light of the cry for fundamental human rights to be respected across the globe? There is something gravely illogical here!

The great challenge that the world faces is to respect all human rights at all times, after all
What sort of a right is it if it only needs to be respected on an arbitrary basis? And, whose arbitrary basis at that? The three young men in the Book of Daniel ought to be an encouragement to us to stand up for the truth of the fundamental dignity of the human person in the world. Empires rarely disappear solely because there is a superior military force that overcomes them. The main reason for the collapse of a society is its own moral bankruptcy, and the roots of this are clearly visible in today’s world, whether it be human rights, corruption, greed etc that form the basis of this judgment.

Can I truly classify myself as a morally upright person? Do I make it a point to stand for the truth no matter what the personal cost may be? How can I improve in this area of my life?

Lord Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. Help me to remember this so that I can be inspired to stand for the truth and dignity of the human person at all times and not worry what the personal cost may be for me.