Daniel 5:1-28; Give glory and eternal praise to him; Luke 21:12-19
We encounter the hand writing on the wall in today's first reading. King Belshazzar was giving a banquet, eating and drinking quite luxuriously, it was over the top, and in the midst of the banquet he performs an act of sacrilege. He orders the sacred vessels reserved for use in the temple to be brought forth and order that his guest drink form them.
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace.
The hand writing on the wall.
I love the description of the king's react to this sight, this mysterious unfolding, this bizarre hand that appears with out a body. Scripture tells us upon seeing this hand the King's "face blanched; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked."
Wow! That is the kind of reaction I would expect from myself if i were to see a mysterious sight such as a hand minus the rest of the body writing on the wall.
What was the message?
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.
It is a message for us as well.
God has numbered our days. We often because of our ingratitude have been found wanting.
Do we see the hand writing on the wall in our own lives? How often we find ourselves indulging in things and fail to recognize the effects they are having on our families, on our children, on our relationships with our significant others in our life?
Should thanksgiving be an opportunity not only to give thanks, to express our gratitude but also to right the ship, to get back on the path where life and love once again mean something and we treasure it as it should be: the greatest commodity bestowed.
Abraham Lincoln, when he asked us to set a side the last Thursday of November as a day of national gathering and remembrance, invited us to make it a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father.
He also asked us to make a day of penitence for our perverseness.
Think about our country for a moment? Think about the perverseness we indulge in as a people?
Should we not do penance for the tragic deformation our country has undergone over the past 60 years.
We kill our pre born children for one in the name of freedom and rights to choose we murder our future generation. Is there anything more perverse.
We have sought to destroy the sanctity of marriage and family,
We have sought to force corporations and business to provide so called health care that goes against the very fabric of their religious profession.
Our congressman and Senators are just selfish clowns who care not for the good of the people but their own agenda.
Our children are being raised with mothers and fathers and many of them abandoned to the streets.
Lewd sexual perverseness is everywhere. Sex is no longer a sacred act that is guarded and embrace but exploited for the sake of gain.
Penance for our perverseness is necessary if our thanks and praise will be genuine.
When we give thanks do we mean it? Penance makes Praise and thanks authentic in our lives.
Give it a try. Before you feast, why not fast only then will the feast truly be directed to our Beneficent Father form whom all good things come.