“I entrust myself to you because you do not disappoint; I do not understand, but even without understanding, I entrust myself to your hands.—Pope Francis
The plight of Susanna in today’s first reading from the Book of Daniel (13:1-62) is familiar to anyone who has been abused by someone with greater power, more authority, a high reputation in the community. The judges used their position to take advantage of someone with no power, no voice, seemingly no defense. In a similar way, the woman in our Gospel reading is brought before Jesus by those who are more interested in defending their authority than in treating her as a fellow human being. In each case, someone steps forward to defend the innocent, to raise up the oppressed, to speak for justice and righteousness. But we know all too well that this doesn’t always happen. Even in the Gospel, those who drifted away at Jesus’s challenge returned to kill him and so reject his law of compassion. And so we come to the pope’s words. Trusting God when we are suffering, when we are being treated unjustly, when we are abused goes against everything our human instincts tell us is right. We long for a Daniel to swoop in to vanquish the villains and save the day. We want a super hero. But the Gospel reminds us that what we have is in fact a savior, an advocate. But sometimes we have to wait for the plan to unfold fully.
Call to mind an experience of injustice from your own life or the life of someone you love. Recall your response to the situation, your anger, your hopes, your fears. Take all of those feelings and offer them to God. Let your heart struggle to feel the faith and the trust that all will be well.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek