Fifth Sunday of Lent: 7 April 2019 - John 8

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 12:15
 
In our recent spring newsletter, the Prior Provincial, Fr Kevin Alban has suggested how we might understand the gospel for each of the five Sundays of Lent, and how we might pray them. Each week, we'll add these reflections to this website so you can read them and prepare for the Gospel before Sunday:
 
Fifth Sunday of Lent: 7 April 2019 - John 8
 
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 
 
This is a dramatic scene with an ugly crowd and a group of highly critical Pharisees and doctors of the Law. Jesus is faced with a desperate woman who is on the point of being stoned as punishment for her adultery. Did this remind him of the risk his own mother ran when she and Joseph accepted to persevere in their relationship, even though her pregnancy was not a result of marital relations? Whatever the case, Jesus tells us that we have no right to accuse others of sin. We are sinners in need of forgiveness ourselves. We must live by the same rules that sometimes we would like to impose on others or that we see lacking in others. This story also reminds us that forgiveness is not the same as tolerance. Jesus forgives the woman, but he also encourages her to live out this forgiveness: “don’t sin again!”