Fifth Sunday of Lent
My father often used to tell me that when I pointed a finger at someone else in an accusing way, the other fingers on my hand pointed back at me. When we think about the woman caught in adultery, it is the accusers of the women who are taught a lesson by Jesus. Their finger pointing leads to a realization on their part that none of them can claim to be innocent or free from sin. Who are they to accuse this woman?
It is very easy to be judgmental. I would even say that there is great comfort in being judgmental. When others are at fault, I need not look to myself or accuse myself of fault or sin. Everyone else is the problem—not me!
Jesus has a knack for making us look at ourselves and come to a realization that we are not “all that.” In the presence of Jesus, we cannot help but be humbled and made truthful about ourselves. Indeed, Jesus told us that He was the truth. In Jesus, there is no escaping the truth, especially about ourselves.
Yet, there is something more involved in discovering the truth about ourselves in Jesus. Rather than Jesus accusing us in His perfection, He has mercy on us in our lack of perfection. Similar to the woman caught in adultery, we too are told by Jesus, “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. You may go, but from now on, avoid sinning.”
Mighty and merciful God, You know us through and through. Yet, You love us and seek to have us be one with You. Help us this Lenten season to be merciful to others despite their imperfections, realizing truthfully that we too are imperfect. Teach how to embrace the truth both of ourselves and others, knowing that we can love and be loved in our imperfections. This we pray in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E. ‘70, Adjunct Professor for First Year Seminar and Religious Studies
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Second Reading: Philippians 3:8-14
Gospel: John 8:1-11
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website