Mass Readings: Daniel 13:1–9,15–17,19–30,33–62 or 13:41–62/John 8:1–11

A Good Story

I love a good story, and both readings today are good stories. The imagery draws the reader in so that the lessons taught are memorable. We’re probably more familiar with the Gospel account of the woman caught in adultery, since we have heard it proclaimed at Mass many times, but careful listening reveals greater depth each time Jesus listens to the accusations, true as they are, and forgives her. The accusers don’t fare so well; judge not, remember, lest you be judged.

We less often hear the story of Susanna in Daniel 13, where an innocent woman is falsely accused of adultery. Because of its vivid telling and scene setting, this story would make a great movie, but the theme reflects that of the Gospel story: Be careful when you judge others.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, make me attentive to the lessons in the stories of Scripture.