By: Fr. Mike Phillippino
Fifth Sunday of Lent
March 17, 2013
One of the changes instituted by Vatican Council II was the reform of the liturgy. Part of that reform was reflected in the way the Church looked at Lent. We went from a Lent that was characterized by a severe and somber time to an older tradition that looked at Lent as a time of initiation and reconciliation.
The readings for Year C predominately emphasize reconciliation. As Deacon Sau will be preaching from the Year A readings because of our candidates and catechumens I thought I might reflect a little on the Gospel reading for Year C which is the year that we are in.
The Gospel is John 8:1-11. Jesus is teaching in the Temple area when he is confronted by the scribes and Pharisees. They bring to him a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus forgives her but the last words of our Lord should not be forgotten: ‘from now on,’ he says, “do not sin anymore” (John 8:11).
The mercy of God is inexhaustible but at the same time, he warns us not to presume upon his mercy. We must make an effort ourselves to change, to confess our sins and “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:14). God wants to “heal our defection and love us freely” (Hosea 14;4) but we must be willing to “return to the Lord” (Hosea 14:2).
In this sacred time God calls us to repentance, to reconciliation that we may experience his forgiveness and be filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. We have not yet, as Paul said of himself; “taken possession” (Phil. 3:12). We are not there yet. So let us “strain forward to what lies ahead…the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus” (Phil 13,14).
So, sisters and brothers, do not forget that this week, Tuesday, March 19th, at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Elm Street, we have our Deanery Lenten Penance Service at 7:00 PM. I will be there; I hope you will be as well.
Peace to you and remember to “follow through.”
Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
March 17, 2013
5th Lent: Come All You Sinners
What was going through her mind? She was being dragged to the Lord. She had to have been terrified. Certainly these men were going to kill her. The woman was caught in adultery. Women have been killed for far less. Even in our modern times, women are treated throughout the world as chattel, their lives completely dependent on the will of their fathers, brothers or husbands. Horrible things continue to happen to women in the name of religion.
Jesus Writes Our Sins on Sand and His Pardon on Our Hearts
Once more we listen to a Gospel of mercy. Last Sunday we have contemplated the embrace of the merciful Father who with his love hugs and rehabilitates the prodigal son, who had left the paternal house and had wasted not only his inheritance, but also his dignity.
Today we contemplate Jesus, who writes the sins of the fragile humanity on sand and his mercy in the heart of a woman thirsty for life..
Oh, That I Might Live Like An Accuser
This Sunday’s gospel reading is the ever-famous “Woman Caught in Adultery” scene, found in John 8:1-11. In recent years, I have begun to refer to this incident as a “both sides of the punctuation” topic. If you attend Mass, you will doubtless hear homilies centering on our inability to cast the first stone, which I in no way mean to diminish. I always say that in the ways most pertinent, you, I, and the “worst of the worst” (Osama bin Laden, for instance) are on the same ground: having lost our footing as a result of sin and in need of saving. That is why Jesus is so eager to explicitly say, “Neither do I condemn you.”