“How bad is it, doctor?”
"How bad is it, doctor? Tell it to me straight."
"It’s bad news: you’re going to die. If only you could've gotten to me sooner!"
This clichéd scene from modern drama echoes the classic scene from today’s first reading (Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28): the handwriting on the wall.
As did the patient, the king knew that it looked ominous, but he wanted to get the definitive word.
As the doctor did to the patient, Daniel gave the bad news to the king and also assigned responsibility to him.
The implication is that if the king had sought and followed the guidance of the Lord earlier, he would not have gotten this bad news too late.
Likewise should we be seeking more diligently and heeding more perfectly the will of God in our lives now and not wait for the arrival of bad news: the handwriting on the wall.