Fifth Sunday of Lent
Lent is a time to discern what new beginnings we need in our spiritual life:
Through Isaiah, God boldly announces in the first reading, See, I am doing something new! He is delivering his people from the captivity brought about by their sinful ways. The past is forgotten – “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not.” God is providing them with a new beginning so they may be witnesses to the world of his saving mercy. In the Gospel Jesus is also doing something new in his forgiveness of the adulteress. If Jesus comes from God, then he will surely stand by God’s commandment which forbids adultery. The “new thing” he does is to switch perspectives from the woman to those who are quick to condemn her. He challenges them to examine their own lives and ask whether they are worthy to condemn others. To give them credit, they slip away realizing their unworthiness. Jesus – the only one worthy to condemn – chooses not to do so, revealing that mercy is God’s primary quality when it comes to his errant children. But he expects a new beginning from the woman also: “From now on do not sin anymore.” In the second reading St. Paul describes his personal new beginning: he considers his whole life previously 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.” Echoing Isaiah, Paul speaks of “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.” Like the people of Israel and Jesus, he is now a witness to God’s saving mercy.
Parish Question for Reflection
Do I recognize that God is doing something new in my life this Lent? What new beginnings ought I to make in response? Do I consider Jesus Christ the supreme good of my life?
May this parish community make a “new beginning” this Lent in recognizing Jesus as the supreme good of our lives.
Palm Sunday of The Passion of The Lord at the procession with palms:
Jesus arrives triumphantly in Jerusalem only to die a few days later scorned and abandoned on the cross. Human popularity and fame are passing things. Doing the Father’s will, whatever comes, leads to resurrection and everlasting life.
The drama of Holy Week shows how transitory are the things of this world, including fame and popularity. The crowds who cried “Hosanna!” on Sunday, cry “Crucify him!” on Friday. Neither the adulation nor the hatred affects Jesus’s commitment to do his Father’s will. If that commitment brings death on Friday, it brings resurrection to new and glorious life on Sunday.
Parish Question for Reflection:
Have we been living our lives with total commitment to doing our heavenly Father’s will? Or do we choose the things of this world instead, even if they are contrary to God’s will?
May the ultimate source of our joy and serenity be doing the will of the Father as Jesus revealed him to us.