Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment)



Rembrandt‘s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ (1635) captures the scene of fear. (National Gallery, London)




Reading:  MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;  

                       TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;

          PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” 
Then by order of Belshazzar they clothed Daniel in purple, with a gold collar about his neck, and proclaimed him third in the government of the kingdom.  The same night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was slain:  (Daniel 5:26-30)

Observation:  I was struck this morning by how it would feel to have Daniel reading these words to me.  Since I am not a king like Belshazzar, I hope my judgment is not so quick but I know that God could very easily be saying, “Mene, Tekel and Peres” to me.  The truth is that I know that God has numbered my days, as he has numbered all of our days and if I was measured up right now, I would be found wanting.  Also, Jesus promised that as long as we are his followers, our families will be divided up against us.  So, as much as it was a prophecy for King Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, it could just as easily be written of me today.

Personification:  Goodness  In order to display the fruit of goodness in my life, I must work in conjunction with the will of God.  The only good that exists in this world is from the good that comes from the one who is all good and deserving of all my love.  I will, with the help of his grace, sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  This part of my reflection today comes from a prayer I have said a few times before, the Act of Contrition. (see prayer below)

Prayer:  O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


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