Bible Diary English

April 4, 2022

First Reading: Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 (or 13:41c-62)
Psalm:  Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side. 
Gospel:
Jn 8:12-20

Mon: Lenten Weekday/ Isidore of Seville, bp, dr

Dn 13: 1-9. 15-17. 19-30. 33-62 or 13: 41c-62/ Ps 23: 1-3a. 3b-4. 5. 6/ Jn 8: 12-20. Optional for any weekday this week: 2 Kgs 4: 18b-21. 32-37/ Ps 17: 1. 6-7. 8b and 15/ Jn 11: 1-45

1st Reading: Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 (or 13:41c-62)
The assembly took their word, since they were elders and judges of the people. Susanna was condemned to death. She cried aloud, “Eternal God, nothing is hidden from you; you know all things before they come to be. You know that these men have testified falsely against me. Would you let me die, though I am not guilty of all their malicious charges?”
The Lord heard her, and as she was being led to her execution, God aroused the holy spirit residing in a young lad named Daniel. He shouted, “I will have no part in the death of this woman!”
Those present turned to him, “What did you say?” they all asked.
Standing in their midst, he said to them, “Have you become fools, you Israelites, to condemn a daughter of Israel without due process and in the absence of clear evidence? Return to court, for those men have testified falsely against her.”
Hurriedly they returned, and the elders said to Daniel, “Come and sit with us, for you also possess the gifts bestowed by God upon the elders.”
Daniel said to the people, “Separate these two from one another and I will examine each of them.”
When the two elders were separated from each other, Daniel called one of them and said, “How wicked you have grown with age. Your sins of earlier days have piled up against you, and now is the time of reckoning. Remember how you have passed unjust sentences, condemning the innocent and freeing the guilty, although the Lord has said ‘The innocent and the just should not be put to death.’ Now, if you really witnessed the crime, under what tree did you see them do it?”
The elder answered, “Under a mastic tree.”
Daniel said, “Your lie will cost you your head. You will be cut in two, as soon as the Lord’s angel receives your sentence from God.”
Putting the first one aside, Daniel called the other elder and said to him, “You offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, you have long allowed yourself to be perverted by lust. This is how you have dealt with the daughters of Israel, who, out of fear, have yielded to you. But here is a daughter of Judah who would not tolerate your wickedness. Tell me then, under what tree did you catch them committing the crime?”
The answer came, “Under an oak.”
“Your lie has also cost you your head,” Daniel said. “God’s angel waits to cut you both in two.”
The whole assembly shouted and blessed God, for helping those who hope in him. They turned against the two elders who, through Daniel’s efforts, had been convicted by their own mouths. In accordance with Moses’ law, the penalty the two elders had intended to impose upon their neighbor was inflicted upon them. They were sentenced to death. Thus was the life of an innocent woman spared that day.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

Gospel: Jn 8:12-20
Jesus spoke to them again, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have light and life.” The Pharisees replied, “Now you are speaking on your own behalf, your testimony is worthless.”
Then Jesus said, “Even though I bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I have come from and where I am going. But you do not know where I came from or where I am going.
You judge by human standards; as for me, I don’t judge anyone. But if I had to judge, my judgment would be valid for I am not alone: the Father who sent me is with me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid; so I am bearing witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.”
They asked him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t know me or my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
Jesus said these things when he was teaching in the temple area, in the place where they received the offerings. No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

 

 

 

Reflection:

 

When Unanimity Trumps Justice
One of the paradoxical Talmudic statements that has confused modern jurisprudence is this: “If everyone is in agreement to condemn someone accused, release him, for he must be innocent.” In other words, unanimity in judgement often endangers justice, because such unanimity could be a sign of blind conformity to groupthink and of the fear of standing up for a more just but unpopular view; and at other times, it simply serves a hidden agenda. Watch the movie “Twelve Angry Men” directed by Sidney Lumet to understand how unanimity can trump justice, and how, one person choosing to dissent, can change the verdict! Young Daniel shows the courage to dissent, and becomes the catalyst for the change of verdict and redemption of Susanna. However, the reverse unanimity that led to the murder of the two elders was unfortunate too! Our human judgements are imperfect, until we learn to judge in the Light of Christ.

 

 

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