I like to listen to Father Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year podcast during my morning walks. Today I actually listened to two because I missed yesterday’s. There was a lot of good stuff in those readings today. The Books of Jeremiah and Daniel are full of some amazing stories. And yesterday’s installment included Jeremiah 29: 11 which I have written about in this blog before.
But today Father Mike talked about the story of Susanna, who is falsely accused of adultery by two powerful elders who lusted for her. Since she would not acquiesce to their indecent demands, they falsely accuse her of adultery with an unknown young man who “got away,” though they tried to restrain him. And these two lecherous men testify against her and, owing to their stature in the community, she is found guilty. Young Daniel the prophet cunningly gets to the truth and the two accusers end up with the fate that formerly awaited Susanna. They are put to death for their treachery. Father Mike points out that Scripture says these men “turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven.”
He cautions us that this is when we, too, can fall into sin. His New Testament reference is from Matthew’s Gospel where Peter briefly walks on the water toward Jesus until he takes his eyes off the Lord and looks at the storm around him and the watery depths beneath him. In Peter’s case he became afraid. Any time we take our eyes off the things of Heaven we will find ourselves in a bad place.
Susanna prayed to be delivered from her treacherous position and Scripture tells us that “the Lord heard her cry.” The evil elders get their comeuppance, but Father Mike acknowledges that sometimes in life, we don’t see the justice done that we know would be the right outcome. Evil people do seem to come out on top, weak people are oppressed and persecuted. These we lift up to God, we ask for His grace to come upon them to sustain them, to console and strengthen them, to give them peace and hope. God’s grace, St. Paul informs us, will be sufficient for them. Receiving that grace that God yearns to immerse us in involves a surrender from the people who are suffering. But it’s easier to surrender to God when you are at the end of your rope; sometimes I think that’s why we end up there: so we can reach out, or better, open up to receive God’s grace…
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts…
Here’s a beautiful song that seems like a proper accompaniment to today’s blog post.
2 thoughts on “Keep your eyes on Heaven”
I so love the BIAY podcast! Learning so much. This week has been particularly good.
On Wed, Sep 1, 2021 at 1:22 PM Drowning in Lemonade wrote:
> Lynda MacFarland posted: ” I like to listen to Father Mike Schmitz’s Bible > in a Year podcast during my morning walks. Today I actually listened to two > because I missed yesterday’s. There was a lot of good stuff in those > readings today. The Books of Jeremiah and Daniel are full of ” >