I was struck in the first reading today about how Daniel alludes to the wickedness of the two men when he says "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term." The two elders who sought Susanna's death because she wouldn't give into them didn't just stumble into this horrendous sin while loving otherwise upright lives. No, sin eats at our lives bit by bit if we don't constantly turn to God for protection and mercy. With these two elders, it probably started with a lustful thought that they didn't will but came unbidden to their minds, but rather than turning it over to God they let it simmer beneath the surface, casually entertaining it. Eventually, as the reading testifies, they "They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments." They turned their eyes from God to their own lust, until eventually it was easier to seem Susanna's death than to admit how far they had fallen.
Lust is the object of the story today, but this decline can happen with any sin: anger, pride, jealousy, greed and so on. It is easier if we turn every little sin, the things that happen dozens of times each day, over to him. The adage rings true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, Jesus Christ can reach us no matter how far we fall and bring us back to the path of righteousness. Walk the road with Him, but if you wander off the road, only call on Him and He will come.