Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Yesterday we reflected on how Jesus dealt with the case of the woman caught in adultery. She was guilty and according to the Law deserved to be stoned. But Jesus placed mercy before the Law, delivers her and sent her on her way filled with faith and love.

Today the chaste Suzanna, accused falsely of adultery, serves as the model of how God brought about justice to rescue an innocent model of virtue and to punish her accusers. He did so in answer to her confident prayer and through the instrumentality of young Daniel. Justice prevailed.

The incident begins as a kind of dirty story – “Why does God allow such mishaps to be included in the Book of his inspired word, and why do we have to read it at Mass!” – and it ends with Susanna being exonerated and the dirty old men condemned.

God meets us where we are and does not shun the reality of the society in which we live. We’re human beings, not angels. And isn’t the saga of Susanna one of the first Mass readings that capture the attention of the congregation right up to the end?


March 14th, 2016