Mass Readings: Daniel 3:14–20,91–92,95/John 8:31–42

Fire and Heat

If the whole story of the three young men in the fiery furnace (Dn 3:1–97) were read at Mass, most of us would get fidgety. So the Church wisely selects only portions for today’s first reading. The hymn they sing, however, in the furnace (3:52–90) bears reading — and praying — on its own. All creation, from the angels to the sun and moon to dew and rain to fire and heat to dolphins and all water creatures, are to praise and exalt God above all forever.

I’ve recited this prayer for years, having first encountered it in the Morning Prayers for two Sundays of the month in the Divine Office. I love the prayer’s lifting of the physical world to the divine, much like the Incarnation, which ennobled human flesh with divinity.

Prayer: Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all forever.