The first reading today is not well known but a favourite of mine. I jokingly say it is from the book of Susanna, but it is from the Apocrypha, Daniel 13. The story is really about Susanne’s steadfast love for God but mostly homilies tend to focus on Daniel speaking the truth and outing the two lecherous elders.
If you know me, you know that I have a passion for beauty. I do not mean exclusively the physical beauty of a person or a stunning nature scene. I see the beauty of a human heart or a tender interaction, such as in the Gospel today with Jesus and the adulteress woman. The elders in today’s reading are struck by Susanna’s beauty and they totally miss the faithful heart that puts God first. This is the real reason that she is well loved. This is the reason that Daniel saves her–because she is righteous and the elders are not.
I have seen great beauty of all kinds in my life because I watch for it. This week I see the beauty of a miraculous body that God has created to renew and heal itself, the opportunity to rest, the snow blanketing the earth one more time prior to it coming alive in various shades of green, the caring of friends, and the joy of human connection. Where has beauty been observed in your life this week?