Today in the scriptures there lies the idea of adultery. First Susanna, in the book of Deuteronomy, is almost condemned to death based on the lies of two elders. Then as we open the New Testament, the people point out a woman who apparently has committed adultery to Jesus. The sins of others are so quick to be pointed out. Jesus turns it around by allowing the people to reflect on their own sin.
Why are all of us so quick to judge? Why do we sink our teeth into the sin of others creating a web of gossip and lies? We all weigh our sins against the sins of others to make us feel better about our own bad choices. I see it everyday. Just today in the newspaper there were several articles which had the premise, “Well, someone else did it, so why can’t I?” or “Why am I the bad guy when everyone does it?”
The story of Susanna really gives us an example of how to handle sinful situations. Susanna knows that she is being entrapped by the two elders and realizes she has two choices: fall to sin with the two men or stand up for what is right and endure the punishment of death. The first thing she does before making her choice is pray to God for His mercy. She says,
“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.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”
Susanna reminds herself in the prayer that God knows the truth. It doesn’t matter who else knows it because God knows. He is there in that garden with her when the men approach her. God knows they are lying so that they can seek their own pleasure with no regard for Susanna’s life. Susanna is just an object to them – a tool for their pleasure. Oh how to common it is for us all to make the depersonalize the sin. It makes us feel better about our bad choice, right?
Sin is tricky. In the New Testament, Jesus reminds us that when we sin; others are affected. Sin is a virus that spreads rampantly amongst friends, enemies and whoever steps into its path. When we forget our own sin and point the finger at others, then we miss the point. Susanna never falters. She and God know the truth. Susanna knocks out the virus of sin before it can spread with her amazing faith. She pummels down those sinful men before they know what hit them.
Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we all could do that? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all could blot out sin instead of spreading it with gossip and judgment?
Jesus us calls us to recognize our own sinful ways. He begs us to bring to light our own sin instead of pointing the sin of others out. He wants us to first make ourselves pure. After all purity is the one way to connect our hearts with Jesus.
Yesterday, God placed on my heart the phrase “What are you thinking?” As the day unveiled itself it made me realize that God was showing me that each and every person in this world are on their own journey toward Him. I need to be patient with all those around me as they take different pathways to God. Instead of saying to someone, “What are you thinking?” I should be saying, “Blessings on your journey with Christ. May you have a quick, easy and satisfying trip.”
Passing judgment will not help others find Christ. First me must pray as Susanna did, then we must allow them to find God in their own time on their own pathway.
Daily Readings can be found http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032315.cfm