April 8 - Oh Susanna
Apr 7, 2019
Scriptures: The story of Susanna is one of my favorite scripture stories. Another is the wisdom of Solomon in addressing the dispute over the baby. This is a comedy where the good and the innocent are vindicated and the evil are destroyed. There are many lessons in this story for today's culture. It is important for us to remember that we first belong to the culture and kingdom of God before our earthly culture and country and should act accordingly. We see the folly in the law that two witnesses are necessary for a crime to be confirmed. It is folly only in that two like-minded criminals may easily collude as they did in this story to bear false witness. The rule of at least two witnesses is a blessing in that a single person's word doesn't even require the effort of collusion. We learn from Daniel with this law it is important to ask questions to those witnesses, and make sure they align. This is common practice for police. So when the priests charge Jesus on his "witnessing to himself" Jesus invokes the Trinity. This is a bit tricky, but follow me: 1) If God is one, he can have not witness, all that God says is authority without witness. 2) Jesus claims that the Father and Son are one. 3) They want to kill him for Blasphemy but it is not yet his time. If Jesus claim is true, that he is God, they cannot stand against him. If it is false, they must kill him for blasphemy. How can they prove or disprove whether or not he is in union with the Father (remember they are looking for the Messiah and he is the premier candidate). It comes down to belief and they rejected him.
Core Faith Principle: The false accusation against Susanna is in the Bible for a reason. This blog is not about American politics so I'd venture to take St. John Bosco's stand and proclaim the "Politics of the Our Father." Our Christian culture is eroding and the principles upon which our civility is based had been undermined and corrupted. Yesterday my point with the Adulterous woman was that she wasn't actually the subject of the encounter, she was an object used to attempt to entrap and take down Christ. We see with Susanna two lecherous men who objectified her. She spurned their advances and so they aimed to despoil her reputation if they could not despoil her body. This is all about power, give us or we will destroy you. We should at once never forget that grave subversion of human depravity that leads people to do the worst things while never forgetting the immense dignity that every human being has. When we are forced to judge, we should never presume an evil cannot be reached, nor favor the popular, rich, or those with societal standing over another. We must at all times guard the innocent from false accusation. Thou shall not bear false witness is one of the 10 commandments precisely because it is one of the gravest sins to falsely accuse another. Where does one go to get their good name back? If we are not careful and allow social/political factions to pull us into us and them, we're right/you're wrong, we're good/you're evil, then we will soon find ourselves in crowd of like-minded fools of the world shouting "Crucify Him!" and to condemn to a horrible death an innocent man, our own God, love itself. Susanna and the Book of Daniel teach us to be wise and prudent. To move beyond the appearance of a thing or the emotions that the accusations bring. We must discover proof. Jesus is firm on this, we are liable to judgement ourselves (like the lecherous men) for the penalties on which we falsely accuse others.
Living this at Home: Children lie. Teach them that wisdom trumps the lies needed to conceal sin. Teach them that evidence vindicates and condemns. However, always be extremely cautious to NEVER falsely accuse your child. It is better by far to endure some injury than to betray your child by marking them with an evil they haven't chosen. Question them, test them, teach them the power of the truth. Give justice to them when it is rightly deserved but also mercy when it benefits them.