Susanna

Friends in Christ, we have in the first reading today, this story about Susanna.
Susanna is in a garden when some wicked men full of lust, threaten her: They say that either she must sin with them, or else they will denounce her and she will be put to death. With her life on the line, Susanna refuses their demands, and indeed, they denounce her, and she is condemned to death.
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This story is actually a ‘replay,’ if you will, of the test in the Garden of Eden. Notice that Susanna is where? In a garden. She is tested – in a garden.
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In the Garden of Eden, it was Eve who was tested by the Devil, to see if she would be faithful to God under duress. Unlike Susanna, Eve gave in and sinned.
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Now God had foretold that there would be a Woman who would crush the devil’s head, who would be victorious. There are a number of images of this Woman in the Old Testament: Jael, Judith, Ester; Susanna is one of these images of the Woman to come, of Mary. It is interesting that Susanna’s husband was named, Joakim. And that was the same name of father of the Blessed Virgin as well.
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So here is Susanna. For resisting temptation, she is condemned to death. But along comes? Her Savior: Daniel. He takes those men apart separately, and asks: ‘Under which tree did this happen?’ Each answers a different tree. They are caught in their lie, and Susanna is saved. Daniel is an image of Christ, the Savior.
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God had foretold from the beginning that for that wicked Serpent, there would come a Woman and her Offspring, and by this, he would lose his head. This is why Daniel says of those enemies: ‘Your fine lie has cost you your head.’
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The events of our Redemption have been foretold centuries ago, under sign and symbol, including this story of Susanna. They show that God has had a plan for us all along.
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[Notice also that these events revolve around a Tree, and the same is true of Eve – it was the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil where that temptation happened. The Cross has been called the Tree of Life, and it is interesting that Mary is there at the crucifixion, under the ‘Tree.’ Remember that Susanna, in the garden, was there with her two ‘maids.’ We find Mary at the Cross with her two maids: Mary Magdalene, and Mary of Cleophas.]

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