for Sunday, March 13, 2016
The Prophet Isaiah tells us in the first reading today: Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! In the second reading today, from the Letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul tells us: I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus. And in the Gospel of John today, Jesus says: Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.
Our Christian life is about meeting Jesus every day and knowing that His love for us is ever new, that we are possessed by Him and that He does not condemn us but invites us to live a new life without sin and always in His love.
We have received our Catholic faith from our ancestors in the faith, our Jewish ancestors who first received the Word of God through the Patriarchs and the Prophets and then from the witnesses who lived with Christ and then those who have gone before us, living in faith. It is Jesus Himself who is calling us to understand the whole of the Old Testament as a Word from the Father meant to save us. It is Jesus in the Gospel today who shows His love and mercy for a sinner, someone caught in the very act of sinning. It is Saint Paul who tells us of his own being possessed by Christ and thus invites us to allow Christ to possess us also.
Life in Christ is not difficult but it will demand our whole life eventually. Life is Christ gives us strength to overcome any difficulties that come into our lives. We are invited to live by faith in a very deep and compelling manner in our daily lives. The Prophets did not just speak about faith, they lived it and suffered for their faith. You and I are called to know our faith, to live our faith and to accept suffering for what we believe.
Saint Paul received a very special revelation from God and yet we share the same baptism and the same call of the Lord: God and live the faith for all peoples. Live in a way which draws others to Christ Jesus our Lord.
We can believe this because when we read the life of Jesus in the Gospels, Jesus always shows us mercy and forgiveness. Jesus does not condone sin but He forgives sin and asks us to go on living without sin. Jesus shows His loving kindness to the woman caught in adultery today. Why should we think that He would not show us the same loving kindness? We need not fear Him! Instead, we can accept His invitation to believe and then begin to walk the path as His followers. No matter how much we may stumble and fall, He is always there, inviting us to be with Him.
Lent is not about being perfect. Rather, Lent is about learning to follow the Lord Jesus as best we can, always relying on His love and forgiveness. Lord, Jesus, be our light!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 43.16-21
Second Reading: Philippians 3.8-14
Gospel: John 8.1-11
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: