My blood was boiling. Tears streamed down my face onto my freshly-pressed white dress shirt. The anger inside me grew exponentially. I was seething at the unbelievable injustice of my current situation. I had been wrongly accused and punished severely for something trivial—and something I didn’t even do! Have you ever been wrongly accused or treated unjustly? It is painful. I only wish I had reacted with the grace and faith of the beautiful, God-fearing Susanna.
I know today’s First Reading is a long one, but wow, is it ever worth reading in full. If you pull out your Bible, it’s essentially chapter thirteen of the book of Daniel. We read the story of Susanna, whose very name means “a white lily”—most fitting for this pure-hearted, grace-filled woman of God. And what an example she sets for us.
When Susanna finds herself caught in a dire situation with two Jewish elders, she cries out: “It is better for me to fall into your power without guilt than to sin before the Lord.” Her mind, her priorities are set not on the things of this world, but on God. When she is wrongly accused and condemned to death, she does not get angry with the Lord or doubt His love for her. She faithfully proclaims, “O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be.” What trust—yes, as the Scripture says, “She trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.”
And what happened to innocent Susanna? “The Lord heard her prayer.”
We are called to trust, sisters. We are called to perfect love, which casts out fear (1 John 4:18). We are called to deep, lasting faith. May we, like Susanna, trust in the Lord with our whole hearts, knowing that our God “saves those who hope in Him.”
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Remember that Jesus, too, understands all too well what it is like to be a victim of injustice. His faithful response to our Father is what gained us the chance for salvation. Holy Week is fast-approaching, sisters. Let us prepare our hearts and sing with the Psalmist, “Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.”
Elise Howe is a devoted wife, momma, and musician currently living in NYC, though she will always be a midwestern gal at heart. You can find out more about her here.