Today, Daniel the Prophet, interprets a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. As soon as we hear that Daniel was an interpreter of dreams, we are reminded of another young Israelite who could do the same; namely, Joseph, son of Jacob. Both Joseph and Daniel were held as slaves by foreign kings. Both were treated as menial servants until their skill in interpreting dreams came to light. Both were raised from the menial situation because of their ability. Both have become heroes in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The plight of Joseph, son of Jacob, led to the slavery of Israel in Egypt. Daniel, on the other hand, became a slave of Nabuchadnezzar, the Assyrian king who led Israel back into bondage after the Israelites had strayed from the covenant. The story of Daniel is deliberately written to make him an image of Joseph. As God led Israel out of Egypt, God will lead these people out of Babylon and back to their homeland.
Daniel’s story also tells us what happened to the Kingdom of Assyria as well as all earthly kingdoms. God will create a new kingdom which shall never be destroyed. Through Daniel’s interpretation of a dream, we hear of the establishment of God’s kingdom which will deliver us from the bondage of sin, a kingdom which will be ruled by Jesus, the incarnation of God. Just as God delivered Israel from Egypt and from Babylon, God has delivered us from the kingdom of sin and established Jesus as our King.
Daniel is held up to us today as a man who is faithful to the covenant. As we celebrate our covenant in the Eucharist this morning, we also pledge our fidelity to his kingdom.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator