Lenten reflections 2018 - 05 - Monday - Fifth week of Lent

 

 

Monday - Fifth week of Lent

 

(Daniel 13: 1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62: John 8: 1-11)
`She trusted the Lord wholeheartedly'

 

Susanna is the 'beautiful and God-fearing' wife of the wealthy and respected Joakim. She is a virtuous woman, having been raised by pious parents who taught her the law of Moses. Confronted by the elders in her garden, she chooses innocence, death in actual fact, to giving in to sin, to the lust of these men. When taken to the house of Joakim to hear the case, the elders tell their story, who are believed simply because they have been appointed to positions of authority. It takes a young man of integrity to see through their deceit and dares to face them. They have chosen to turn from the law, the very law that is their salvation and are therefore, judged not by God, but at the hand of their own folly and sin.

 

The woman caught in adultery, though guilty, is the target of a self righteous group using the law for their own intends and purposes which needless to say go very much against the nature of Christ. Maybe, as Jesus wrote in the sand, he wondered where the man was that lay with her. Was he one of the accusers, one of the scribes or Pharisees? No matter, the message of Jesus is clear, 'let the one without sin cast the first stone'. Then turning to the woman he affirms her by saying: 'Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more'. Right there Jesus restores the dignity of this woman. He talks to her with respect and kindness. He accepts her as she is, not for what her body can offer him. He sees beyond her sin into the depth of her and sees the wonder of her - image of God. We meet many people whom we think it fair to judge. The example of Jesus asks: Can we look at victim and perpetrator with the eyes of God?

 

Breath Prayer: What are some of my mindsets that condemn people?

I breathe in:      'Jesus, gentle lover of all'

I breathe out:     'Touch my spaces of hardness'

 

 

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