Journey through Lent 2018 at St. Anthony's
Wednesday - Fifth Week of Lent
March 21, 2018

In my reading, which is from Daniel, three followers of God, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were challenged by King Nebuchadnezzar to stand up for their faith and show their trust in God even to the point of dying for it. The king said he would throw them in the furnace if they would not worship the golden statue. Because of their strong faith they were saved from a fiery death.
I grew up learning about all the martyrs and faithful followers of Jesus. I often wondered if I could stand up and be that strong in my own faith, even to be thrown into a fiery furnace. We are enriched by these wonderful examples that we admire and learn from.
We do have false gods that we have to overcome in our own lives.  Maybe, we don't have to fear a furnace but we do have to develop our love of God and increase our faith. I feel some of our false gods are the love of money, secularism, seeking worldly possessions, and ignoring the needs of others. I need to continue focusing on what is really important: my faith, my church and my personal relationship with God.
I work to increase my faith by attending Mass, receiving the Eucharist, praying daily, studying scripture, and volunteering at church. Yet the question lingers in my mind. Would I be able to take a stand for my faith, and how would I react if my belief was questioned or ridiculed? My strength lies in my faith, a faith that I try to increase through my actions.  

Liz Duke
St. Anthony Parishioner (and liturgical linen and altar care volunteer)