In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the choice of either worshipping the state endorsed idol, or burning in the fiery furnace. Faithfully, the three disciples of God chose the furnace, and in doing so, got to dance with a prefigurement of Christ, in the angel of the Lord.
Today's Scripture readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032013.cfm
What choice would the current majority of American Christians make?
Today's Scripture readings also reveal the praise of God in a Psalm-like song of worship (Daniel 3:52-56). This Psalm-like song reveals an earthly cry in heavenly hope. For those of us suffering from unemployment, disease, illness, family tragedy, or similar distress, the praise of God in His Perfect Benevolence is truly an earthly cry--in faith of God's mystery--in heavenly hope of redemption from our malady. When, not if, Nebuchadnezzar comes, the spiritually poor, and those predisposed to it through temporal poverty, will more likely be the disciples who will joyfully prefer the furnace to the idol!
What, exactly, is a martyr? http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09736b.htm
The furnace or the idol? For Catholics, this choice is really Jesus or the world. For Nebuchadnezzar is already here in HHS mandates and abortion in the millions! Nebuchadnezzar is already in the Church, as Pope Paul VI stated: 'The smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary.' And this smoke looks like Catholics voting for Pro-Choice candidates such as Barack Obama. This smoke looks like Joe Biden attending the Inauguration of the Pope, as the official representative of the United States of America! This smoke looks like oddly masculine looking religious sisters disobeying the Pope while practicing progressive-secular social justice.
And that is why, on Sunday's, some of us sing the Psalms with an earthly cry in heavenly hope, amidst our impoverishment, while others sing of an earthly utopia in the 'heaven' of man made idols. For the former, our furnace awaits! But, rest assured, the angel of the Lord will dance with us all the way to heaven! For the latter, a furnace is avoided, at least for now.