The narrative passage today from the Book of Daniel is unique to the degree that is not included in the Protestant canon of the Bible. The story is a significant biblical passage of the importance for the faithful, as followers of God, to recognize the importance of living by the will of God—no matter the cost. It is also significant because it reveals to us that it is not God’s will to abandon us to the evils of sin in the world but to bring about a restoration of the dignity of truth which is found in perfection in God’s being.
The passage finds Susanna, who is described as a very beautiful and God-fearing married woman, in a dilemma. Two old men who sexually desire Susanna and who have reduced her to an object in their mind—which many men do who consume pornography—demand she gives them their desire or they will lie about her honor.
Susanna knows the cost of living a life of holiness or rather in the Old Testament sense to live in ‘the fear of the Lord’. And so, she is resolved, “I choose not to do it and to fall into your hands, rather than to sin in the sight of the Lord.”
Susanna’s situation is one form of poverty that still exists in our modern world, whether material or being marginalized by personal sins or social sins. People throughout the world call out to God for liberation from their poverty—the Good News is that God listens to our pleas if only in faith we call to Him.
Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice and said, “O eternal God, who does discern what is secret, who is aware of all things before they come to be, 43 you know that these men have borne false witness against me. And now I am to die! Yet I have done none of the things that they have wickedly invented against me!”
The Lord heard her cry
God’s purpose for Susanna was not to abandon her to her suffering for the mere sake of holiness, but rather to liberate her from the entirety of sin. In today’s gospel passage, we find Jesus as God’s envoy, understood in the Greco-Roman sense of having all the authority of the Father who sent Him, which is testified and verified by both the Son and the Father. The enormity of the debt of sin in which man finds himself cannot be satisfied by any normal sacrifice; the sacrifice is offered from the Everlasting Man, God Incarnate; the person of Christ Jesus.
At the beginning of the Passiontide, let us bring our hurts and pains of the world to God, who desires to liberate and redeem us from the entirety of sin that is apparent in the world.
 English Standard Version Catholic Edition (n.p.: Augustine Institute, 2019), Da 13:23.
 English Standard Version Catholic Edition (n.p.: Augustine Institute, 2019), Da 13:42–44.