Vincent, their “Bible fundi” had met with parish family groups to help them understand the deeper messages of the book of Daniel. He explained, “Everyone loves the stories about Daniel and his friends and their miraculous escapes when the evil kings wanted to punish them. But there is a deeper meaning. The stories are set in the time of the captivity in Babylon but this book was actually composed later and speaks about the similar persecution of the Jews by foreign rulers in order to give them hope. Was it their faith and trust in God, God’s care for them or the healthy food they chose to eat that contributed to their superior development?” Vincent ended by asking the families, “Do we eat properly and take care of our bodies as well as we should? After all they also belong to God.”
King Nebuchadnezzar the wealthy and powerful king of Babylon commanded his servant to bring some youths from the people of Israel to serve him, youths without blemish, endowed with knowledge, learning and skills. He wanted them fed from his royal table but Daniel and his friends refused to eat the rich food but negotiated for them only to be fed vegetables and water. God gave them learning and skill and Daniel also had understanding in vision and dreams. When brought to the king they were found to be ten times better than his own wise men. Daniel 1.
Pope Francis: The experience of the Babylonian captivity provoked a spiritual crisis which led to deeper faith in God. Now his creative omnipotence was given pride of place in order to exhort the people to regain their hope in the midst of their wretched predicament. LS74