|"He Who is of God Hears the Word of God" -- by James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Daniel 3: 14 - 20, 91 - 92, 95
14 And Nabuchodonosor the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?
15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.
17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.
18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.
20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.
91 Then Nabuchodonosor the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king.
92 He answered, and said: Behold I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
95 Then Nabuchodonosor breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king's word, and delivered up their bodies that they might not serve, nor adore any god, except their own God.
PSALM: Daniel 3: 52 - 56
52 Blessed art thou, O Lord the God of our fathers: and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever: and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised, and exalted above all in all ages.
53 Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised, and exceeding glorious for ever.
54 Blessed art thou on the throne of thy kingdom, and exceedingly to be praised, and exalted above all for ever.
55 Blessed art thou, that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
56 Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.
GOSPEL: John 8: 31 - 42
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews, who believed him: If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man: how sayest thou: you shall be free?
34 Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin.
35 Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever.
36 If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
37 I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father.
39 They answered, and said to him: Abraham is our father. Jesus saith to them: If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham.
40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not.
41 You do the works of your father. They said therefore to him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me.