Monday, March 23, 2015

Susanna, sin and the woman caught in adultery: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, March 23rd, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            There’s a lot of cool stuff going on in this long reading from Daniel.  This morning I’d simply point out why I think it is placed in Lent—it is a poignant reflection about sin.
            First, the elders fall to the sin of lust.  As they did so the sacred author notes, “They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.”  Isn’t this what happens with any sin?  When we chose something immoral—be it through lust, gossip, greed—we suppress our conscience, don’t look to heaven and don’t keep in mind good judgment.  That’s precisely what sin is.
            Second, Susanna had a heroic response in the face of sin.  “‘I am completely trapped,’ Susanna groaned.  If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.  Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt than to sin before the Lord.’”  Susanna chose to die before sinning.  Would you die before sinning again?
            Finally, for when we fall short of such heroism, we turn to the antithesis of Susanna—the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus utters that famous line: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  So too, if we approach Jesus humbly after sinning we receive his mercy and are told to “…go and sin no more.”

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