Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

by Stanley J. Weinberg

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Today’s readings about “Susanna” and “The Adulterous Woman” lead me to reflect on the oppression of women through the ages and up to the present. The readings also stimulate thoughts about social justice and injustice. Susanna chooses to sacrifice her life rather than submit to sexual assault by two depraved elders; judges who threatened to falsely accuse her and have her found guilty of adultery, were she not to submit to them. Her life is saved by a righteous man named Daniel.

“The Adulterous Woman” is also being judged and is saved by Jesus from being stoned to death. We never learn her name, or exactly what she is accused of having done. But we do know that she was not going to receive understanding, compassion, or forgiveness had Jesus not intervened.

Our country has just elected a president whose relationships with women have been depraved, and, if he has his way, he will reverse women’s rights, not advance them. Jesus was passionate about social justice for women and for all of humanity. Let us follow in the footsteps of “Daniel” and Jesus in standing up to oppressors and taking action in support of women’s rights and the rights of all.