March 18, 2024
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
The Faith of Susanna
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
Daniel 13:62

The Innocence Project is dedicated to freeing prisoners wrongly convicted. Through painstaking investigations and DNA evidence, they have won 243 cases for imprisoned men and women languishing for decades for crimes they did not commit. To falsely accuse or wrongly convict is a heinous evil. Today, we hear the story of Susanna, “a beautiful and God-fearing woman” falsely accused by corrupt and lecherous elders. An innocent victim, Susanna is convicted by the assembly who believe the accusers. Then Daniel intervenes, and like an Old Testament Hercule Poirot, exposes the falsehood and convicts the scoundrels.

What is striking in this story is the pure faith of Susanna, who puts her faith in God. In the words of today’s Psalm 23, “Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side…” (Psalm 23:4).When all have abandoned us, still we can turn in trust to the Lord who is at our side.

Holy Spirit, comfort all those falsely accused and all victims of falsehood.

- Greg Erlandson

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 • Psalm 23:1-6 • John 8:1-11

Comments

March 18, 2024 at 10:10 PM

Bill S: Amen to your Irish/Italian saying yesterday. My all-Italian grandfather would have totally agreed! And enjoy the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th. Blessings to all the Living Faith Family. Ria

March 18, 2024 at 09:18 PM

Thank you for a very important reflection today, Greg. It’s difficult to imagine someone falsely accused and punished for crimes against them. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the accusers coupled with the gift of science to bring them Justice.

peggyR
March 18, 2024 at 09:36 PM

Hi Bill S, got a good chuckle from your Irish/ Italian St Patty’s Day comment. Thanking God for all of my LFF and Friends. Sending prayers to all of you and those who we care for. Dear Lord, please bless our world with your everlasting Love. ❤️

March 18, 2024 at 09:40 AM

Faith & trust in God: "Put yourself in God's hands; He abandons no one." St. Andre Bessette

March 18, 2024 at 09:00 AM

Greg may your wonderful words encourage us to let faith guide us more and more each day. May we also trust in him to guide this world to protect the innocent and stop the evil ones. Patrick I love that quote from C.S. Lewis thank you for sharing it. Blessing to all the LFF. May God guide each of us everyday to be all that we can be and keep us safe in our daily adventures. Prayers to all the LFF especially those needing an extra hand for help these days.

March 18, 2024 at 08:48 AM

AMEN!

March 18, 2024 at 08:29 AM

Amen!

March 18, 2024 at 07:40 AM

Amen.

March 18, 2024 at 07:03 AM

With the innocent Susanne and guilty adulterous woman, there is the same God! *** Daniel 13:45-46, “As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the Holy Spirit of a young boy named Daniel, and he cried aloud: “I am innocent of this woman’s blood.” *** John 8:10-11, “Jesus stood up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Hasn’t anyone found you guilty?” “No one, sir,” she said.“Then I don’t find you guilty either,” Jesus said. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” *** Ezekiel 33:11, “Tell them, ‘When sinful people die, it does not give Me any joy. But when they turn away from their sins and live, that makes Me very happy. And that is just as sure as I am alive,’ announces the Lord and King. ‘So turn away from your sins! Change your evil ways! Why should you die, people of Israel?’ ******* 2 Peter 3:9-10, “The Lord is not slow to keep His promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, He is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, He wants all people to turn away from their sins. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar. Fire will destroy everything in them. God will judge the earth and everything done in it!” *** John 3:36, “Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone who does not believe in the Son will not have life. God’s anger remains on them.” *** 2 Corinthians 6:2, “ For God says,“At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of Salvation, I helped you.”Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of Salvation!” *** Hebrews 3:15, “Remember what it says: “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” ******* Amen!

March 18, 2024 at 06:51 AM

Thank you Greg. Love the story of Susanna. Patrick, thank you for sharing, too. The judging beast inside of me is strong and I try to give that up to God when I find myself caught in its clutches. We are entering Passiontide this week and closing in on the last weeks of Lent. May your journeys continue to reveal God’s plan for you. Blessings to the LFF and all those with special needs. Amen.

March 18, 2024 at 06:46 AM

Lord please hear our prayers and bring your light to all those suffering in Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Send them your light. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

March 18, 2024 at 06:28 AM

Amen... thank you Lord for this beautiful Day

March 18, 2024 at 05:18 AM

The stories of Susanna and the woman caught in adultery assure us that when we come before the Lord in our sinfulness, we will not hear a word of condemnation, but a word of forgiveness. ‘I do not condemn you’, and also an invitation, ‘Do not sin anymore’. Condemnation comes easily to human nature. Thankfully, it is not in the nature of Jesus or of the God whom he reveals. Forgiveness for our past and empowerment through the Spirit to live more loving lives are the Lord’s gifts to us. It is best to leave judgement of others to God. Our time would be better spent focussing on our behaviour and asking God to shine the light of truth into our own heart. The duplicity and self delusion of human nature is very well expressed by this piece by C. S. Lewis “The pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. This is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But of course, it is better to be neither.”

peggyR
March 18, 2024 at 09:26 PM

Thank you for your wonderful response, Patrick. Oh my goodness, your words were spot on The excerpt from CS Lewis was both enlightening and full of truth.

March 18, 2024 at 03:13 AM

Amen.

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