Saturday, March 12, 2016

3-13-2016 -- 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C

March 13, 2016 - 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church



Her eyes were filled with tears when they made her stand in the middle.

She was an easy target because she was a woman. Where was the man with whom she was involved?

The bullies had singled her out. They had already killed her spirit and they really wanted to stone her.

She had been caught. She was full of shame. Even Jesus kept his head down, not wanting to add to her shame.

Think about what this means. Imagine if you were dragged to the center of this church and made to stand right in the middle.

Imagine being held at gunpoint while your sins and deepest, darkest secrets were read aloud for all to hear. Imagine that this scene would end with your death. Imagine the shame and the humiliation and the fear.

The crowd wants Jesus to sanction her condemnation and death. But Jesus turns the tables on them.

Notice Jesus doesn’t say, “Shame on you. What you did is a sin.” The woman already knows it was a sin.

Jesus actually acknowledges that a sin has been committed, “Is there no one here to condemn you?”

She is standing there waiting for her punishment and it never comes. Jesus does not condemn the woman. Jesus loves the woman.
And, then, Jesus admonishes the woman. “Go and from now on do not sin any more.”

This is a far cry from the punishment the crowd intended to inflict upon her. What must the woman have felt in that moment. Relief? Yes, but even more. Absolute forgiveness; to be given another chance.

Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are all given another chance.

This Sunday night at 6 PM there will be several confessors available for you to bring your own sins to the Lord, to ask forgiveness, to be given another chance.

Those who are overwhelmed by their own sinfulness often feel that their sins make them unfit to be disciples. Conversely those who refuse to acknowledge their own sinfulness see mercy and forgiveness as something only others need.

So we ask ourselves: What do I need to repent of? If we ask, we will be given another chance.

Jesus’ words of forgiveness have the power to change our lives forever.

Our God is the God of another chance. With Jesus, all of us are given the chances we need to get things right.

When we are caught in our own sin and shame and made to stand in the middle, in our guilt, in our shame these words are spoken to us, “Is there no one here to condemn you?”


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