The Fifth Sunday of Lent
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
|Woman Caught In Adultery|
NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU - There are few moments in scripture more tender and compassionate than today's Gospel reading (John 8:1-45) of the Woman Caught in Adultery. As all around her were ready to condemn her to a death by stoning, she encountered our Awesome God kneeling in the dirt beside her, forgiving her, saving her, loving her."Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?' They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
"Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She replied, 'No one, sir.' Then Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.'"
In our first reading (Isaiah 43:16-21), we encounter the same loving, compassionate God who gave hope to the captive Jews in Babylon, reassuring them that he has done wonderous deeds in the past and will do so again."Thus says the LORD, who opens a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters, who leads out chariots and horsemen, a powerful army, till they lie prostrate together, never to rise, snuffed out and quenched like a wick. Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers. Wild beasts honor me, jackals and ostriches, for I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise."
In our Epistle reading (Philippians 3:8-14), Saint Paul instructs his readers to keep their eyes on the prize, forgetting what lies behind and continuing their pursuit of the Lord."I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
"It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus."
May we be mindful that our Awesome, Creator God knows each one of us individually and personally and loves us beyond all measure and wants nothing more than for us to be like him and be with him.
- Click HERE for the full readings for March 13, 2016