5th Sunday of Lent
Forgetting the past and straining toward the goal, the price of God’s call in Crist Jesus, I press toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8-4). Neither do I condemn you. Go away and do not sin again. (John 8: 11).
Keep your eyes on Christ, Saint Gregory of Nyssa tells us in a sermon on Ecclesiastes (2:1-3). He says it is another way of saying: Seek the things that are above. Lent is a time for us to look at Jesus and realize that his mission was not to condemn us but to forgive us and help us reach our goal. Everything else Saint Paul regards as rubbish. Faith in Christ was what Paul gained and found in Christ. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection because Christ has made me his own.
The drama of the woman condemned to be stoned to death is the Gospel of the day. What does it tell us? Jesus wants to forgive our sins; he died to save us from our sins and to receive the gift of eternal life. The Pharisees remind Jesus that women like the one before them are stoned to death. What do you say? Jesus kneels, and he writes with his fingers in the sand. They continue to question him. He tells them that if anyone is without sin, let him throw the first stone. One by one, beginning with the elders, they all go away. Jesus asks the woman if anyone condemns her. Neither do I condemn you. Go away and do not sin again.
What do we learn from Jesus in this story? Like so many responses of Jesus to many situations in Saint John’s Gospel, we learn much about Jesus. We learn that God will forgive us if we love him.
In God’s service, we need fidelity and generosity, but not strength. God is our strength. (Saint Peter Julian Eymard, A Thought for Every day, March 4).
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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