Today's Readings: Daniel 13 ; Psalm 23; John 8:1-11 (Look Them Up!)
Today's Old Testament Reading and Gospel Reading tell similar stories. They are both easy reads, so please look them up.
Daniel chapter 13 tells a story about a good and virtuous woman, Susanna, who was married to Joakim. Two men, elders of the city, lusted for her. God's sacred word says that "they suppressed their consciences and would not allow their eyes to look to heaven...".
Has there ever been a time in our own lives when we knew that an action, or an attitude, was wrong, so we avoided looking at God so we wouldn't feel convicted?
These men trapped her alone in her husband's garden one day in order to take advantage of her. She cried out against them, and when help arrived, the two men testified that they caught her committing adultery in the garden with a young man who got away. Since both of the men testified against her, she was sentenced to death, which was the required punishment for adultery. "Through tears Susanna looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly." Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be. You know that they have testified falsely against me." "The Lord heard her prayer, and God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel."
Stirred by the holy spirit, Daniel used an intelligent method to thwart the plot of the two evil men, and Susanna's life, and integrity were spared. I hope you'll open your bible and read the entire story.
This is a wonderful example of someone who trusted her life to God in the midst of evil.
In the midst of what seemed to be an impossible situation, Susanna gave everything over to God, and God defended her.
Right now, our world, and our lives seem to be handed over to an impossible situation with a virus that can't be seen, and has changed our lives. Let's use this time as an opportunity to do what Susanna did.... give Everything over to God. God is in control, not us.
Our gospel reading today is a familiar story about a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, and brought to Jesus by a group of men who wanted to test him. You know the story! Jesus challenges the men who are condemning her "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." A little at a time they all walked away! Jesus did not condemn this woman, and Jesus doesn't condemn us! He loves us into repentance and right actions.
What does Jesus expect of this woman.... and of us? "Go, and from now on do not sin any more."