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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Daniel 3:62-67
Luke 21:12-19

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d. u. i.

"Under the influence of the wine, he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, to be brought in so that the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers might drink from them." —Daniel 5:2

While "under the influence," King Belshazzar made the worst decision of his life. He was murdered before the night was over (see Dn 5:30). Noah, the first man to plant a vineyard, became drunk. This resulted in a curse on his son Ham, the father of Canaan (Gn 9:21, 25). Nabal had "a drinking party in his house," and "about ten days later the Lord struck him and he died" (1 Sm 25:36, 38). While King Elah was "drinking to excess," Zimri murdered him and took over the government (1 Kgs 16:9-10).

No drunkards will inherit God's kingdom (1 Cor 6:10). Because of this, Christians should give up drinking altogether so as to not be an occasion of sin to the weak (1 Cor 8:13). Although we are allowed to drink moderately (see 1 Tm 5:23), God's word says: "Take care, however, lest in exercising your right you become an occasion of sin to the weak" (1 Cor 8:9).

Jesus' first miracle involved alcohol (Jn 2:9). It led immediately to faith (Jn 2:11), which was His purpose. May we as the Church always be more concerned with raising faith than raising glasses!

Prayer:  Lord, instead of getting drunk on wine or beer, may I be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).

Promise:  "I will give you words and a wisdom which none of your adversaries can take exception to or contradict." —Lk 21:15

Praise:  James once went to drinking parties to fit in, but now stands out as a witness to Christ.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007

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