The One Who Rights All Wrongs 

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At some point or another, most of us have been blamed for something we didn’t do. It doesn’t feel good, and sometimes it can be downright scary. Whenever I read a story of someone released from prison after having served decades for a crime they did not commit, I am astounded by their joy, their gratitude, and I often imagine how I might respond in a similarly horrific situation. I’m not sure I’d be quite so gracious.  

To be able to withstand the unthinkable and maintain an unshakable trust in God, as we witness Susanna doing in today’s first reading, requires not blind faith but an abiding faith in the One who rights all wrongs, even when from an earthly standpoint, justice is not done. In our Gospel, we see a variation on the same theme. This time the woman in question appears to be guilty, and the laws of that time required justice of the harshest kind. Instead, Jesus offers mercy, compassion, tenderness.  

Both women are spared—the innocent and the guilty. How does that make us feel? Is there a place in our lives where we expect mercy for a wrong we’ve committed, even when we will not offer the same to others? Is there a place where we have been wronged and hope for punishment to be meted out to satisfy our desire for justice? As it turns out, “justice” looks different through the lens of the Gospel. Are we willing to put on the dual lenses of trust and mercy?  

Mary DeTurris Poust  

Mary DeTurris Poust is a writer, retreat leader, and spiritual director living in upstate New York. Visit her website at

© Liturgical Press.

Mary DeTurris Poust

Mary DeTurris Poust is a writer, retreat leader, and the author of numerous books on Catholic spirituality. She writes about the spiritual journey on her blog, Not Strictly Spiritual, and in her monthly column, Life Lines. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, Dennis, and their three children.

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