5th Sunday of Lent Year C

Published on 01 Apr 2019
A painting showing Jesus defending the woman to an older man

‘Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you.’

By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God,

may we walk eagerly in that same charity

with which, out of love for the world,

your Son handed himself over to death.

Having journeyed through Lent for four weeks, I may well feel in need of the reassuring words of Isaiah (First Reading). Just as the Lord promised to give abundant water to sustain the exiles from Babylon on their journey home, he will also guide me through the rest of Lent, supporting me with spiritual food and drink.

In gratitude, I pray the response to the Psalm: ‘What marvels the Lord worked for me, indeed I am glad’, recalling the joy of the exiles as they returned to their country.

Paul reminds us that ‘nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus’. He is aware that he needs not try for perfection by his own efforts. I take comfort in this, and forgetting the past, look forward to what is still to come (Second Reading).

Jesus defuses a tense and potentially violent situation by forgiving the woman who sinned, and then turning the tables on her accusers:

‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her’ (Gospel). Although he does not condemn her, she is to ‘go away and not sin any more’.

Perhaps this helps me in these last days of Lent to pray to the Lord that he be ‘my Saviour again and renew my joy’. I may also want to pray for all those people around me who still feel in exile, that the expectation of new life at Easter might help them to come home.

No need to recall the past, no need to think of what was done before. See, I am doing a new deed ... can you not see it?     First Reading

I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus.      Second Reading

Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, for I am all tenderness and compassion.     Gospel Acclamation

Has no one condemned you? … Neither do I condemn you.    Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further

Isaiah 43: 16–21; Psalm 125 (126); Philippians 3: 8–14; John 8: 1–11