This week we will have readings from the Book of Daniel. It is a favorite book for those who look for prophesies that might be fulfilled in our time. Although it tells the story of Daniel and his companions who were carried off to Babylon in 597 B.C., it was written in the Aramaic Language which did not come into use until a hundred years later. Careful analysis of the text indicates that it was not written until four hundred years after the events it describes.
There is nothing wrong with people writing fictional historic accounts long after the evens they describes. Some of the best books on our shelves are of that sort. The only harm comes when centuries later people pick up such fictional accounts, taking them for genuine history.
In 167 B.C. King Antiochus IV attempted to make Jewish boys eat pork and bow down to a state of Zeus. To keep them true to their Jewish Religion a Hasidic Jew wrote this account of how four hundred years earlier pious Jewish boys refused to eat forbidden food, and refused to bow to the statue Nebuchadnezzar set up, and still triumphed.
The Gospel tells a brief story, but a beautiful one. Jesus, seeing a starving widow dropping her last two coins in the temple treasury, knew that she was giving all she had. He stood up, calling the attention of everyone to the lady’s sacrifice. We don’t need to do great things for God. What counts is the effort, not the results.