Reflection for Monday, April 4, 2022: 5th Week of Lent.

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Waldron, Maureen
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|The story of Susanna and the Elders is a good counterpoint to today's gospel.  Susanna, who is innocent, is accused of adultery by two Jewish elders.  When she spurned their advances, they publicly accused her of sin. The two elders are judges for the Jewish court, which takes place each day in the house of Susanna's husband.|Because she is a woman, she is not asked for her side of the story, and no one defends her.|The crowd seems to have already decided that she was guilty.  She is condemned to death by the assembly with no voice defending her.  In the very darkest place of her life, she calls on her "eternal God" begging for help knowing that her God knows the truth.|God answers her prayers in the form of Daniel a young man known to be virtuous and god-fearing. He had been watching the proceedings, stops them and entraps the elders in their lies.|Jesus, too, seems to be "on trial," as always, by the Pharisees.  More arrogant religious leaders probe at Jesus and his odd teachings.  With Susanna, it takes the testimony of two men to convict her and the guilty elders step up to do that.  In defending himself, Jesus quotes their law back to the Pharisees: "Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two men can be verified."  He chooses himself and his father – God.  His audacity to speak of himself as the son of God continues the drum beat of tension between him and the religious leaders who want him silenced.|Both Jesus and Susanna would have known well Psalm 23, one the most beloved psalms ever written.  "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side…."   The comforting words of walking in darkness underlines Jesus' testimony that he is the light of the world. "Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life."|"Loving God, we ask for the grace to remember that you walk next to us in our darkest times, when it may be difficult to see you.  Give us the wisdom to also seek you out when our lives are going well.  Your presence in our ordinary, busy days is a great gift, easily overlooked.  Help us be grateful, always for you in our lives."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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