today's other readings are Daniel 6: 11-28 and Lk. 21: 20-28
Throughout this week in place of a responsorial psalm in our weekday masses, we have been reading parts of the canticle of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This lengthy canticle of praise takes place in the midst of the furnace they have been thrown into by the soldiers of King Nebuchadnezzar for their refusal to give praise and worship to the Babylonian gods. For refusing to do so, we hear of how the angel of God protects them from the flames, and they then with loud voices burst into this canticle (Daniel 3: 49-51)
For most of this canticle, the three begin each phrase with "Bless the Lord" and then mention part of God's creation. For example, in our first stanza today they say "Bless the Lord, winter and summer heat", which is then followed up with the command: "Sing praise to Him and highly exalt Him forever".
If you pray this lengthy passage out loud, you realize that this is a repetitive litany with a continual focus on blessing, singing praise and exalting our God. This canticle also becomes hypnotic as you do so. But in a beautiful way. For what better for one to do than to bless, praise and exalt our gracious God?