Monday of the Second Week of Lent
Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 (or 13:41-62)
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
John 8: 1-11
Today’s readings are similar and closely related. In both of them women are being accused of having committed adultery by men. In the first reading, Susanna did not give in to the luring of these two men and ended up being saved through the intervention of prophet Daniel. However, in the Gospel the woman brought before Jesus is said to have been caught committing adultery.
There are three things we learn in the readings today:
Sin begets sin: in both readings we see that after there is a perpetuation of crime scenes, from one to the next. Having attempted to rape Susanna they went on to lie and risked her life. Very often we lead one another into sin, knowingly and unknowingly.
Sin affects the community: this is one among the many dimensions of sin. What we encounter in the readings are known as social sins. Social sins reside within a group or a community of people. They exist within any structure in society that oppresses human beings, violates human dignity, stifles freedom and/or imposes great inequity. Daniel and Jesus come and restore the dignity of these two women.
God will never fail His faithful: Susanna chose to stand by her principles, in truth and was vindicated with the help of the man of God.
His loves the sinner: God loves the sinner and condemns the sinner because His love is unconditional. All the wants of us is to turn to him with a contrite heart and leave, hence the call to the woman: “Go and sin no more”
Today we are being invited not only in seeking the knowledge of what sin can do, but rather to avoid occasions of sin. These men in the passages knew the effects of what they were doing but still chose to fall into sin. However, though there is no sin that cannot be forgiven and we can always turn to Him for forgiveness, this does not give us a license to continue willfully falling into sin. We need to radically turn away from sin and abide by His grace. Susanna shows us that it is possible to stand against evil and sin, and the woman in the Gospel teaches us that after falling into sin, Jesus gives us the second opportunity to rewrite our life history anew.
Pardon our sins Lord, for the many times we have led others into sin, and make us seek to please You alone.