Another week of Lent is passing & we arrive at the 5th Sunday tomorrow. We have moved from the joy of Laetare Sunday into a more sombre mood. The gospel for the Sunday tells the story of the woman accused of adultery. There is an attempt to trick Jesus into condemning her but Jesus cleverly turns the whole thing on its head & asks whoever is without sin to throw the first stone. The accusing crowd disappear one by one. And Jesus is left with the woman. It is a graphic picture containing strong teaching on several things including being judgmental & hypocritical. Our attachments today have something to say about this. The ‘What Might We See’ follows on rather aptly ‘The Log in Your Eye’.
We hope your week goes well – next time we send a Saturday Reflection we will be approaching Holy Week. At the end of this I will send you again the link for our zoomed Reflections for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday.
The blessing today is ‘Let the Peace’ from ‘Sacred Weave’.
Maundy Thursday 14.4.22: Reflection on the Washing of the Feet – 5.30pm. (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88261672004?pwd=Qng3bjBMZHV4UzY3Ylo0SHZrc2EyUT09 ID: 882 6167 2004 Passcode: 987291
Good Friday 15.4.22: Reflection: What is this day about?
7pm. (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82900556488?pwd=dGNVd0d5a3diclg1MUlZc0dGTUZ2QT09 ID: 829 0055 6488 Passcode: 060489
Holy Saturday 16.4.22: Reflection: A Forgotten Day?
10am (about 25/30 mins)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85148484877?pwd=RVZpMDZuNEVvSmpVSmF4TXJMaDFkQT09 ID: 851 4848 4877 Passcode: 042996
ALSO: LIVE in Blessed Sacrament Church on Holy Saturday 16.4.22. at 11.30am – A Reflection for Holy Saturday.
With our love
The Log in your Eye.
Imagine you are in a room with many other people & you find your sight has more or less gone. You hear the voices of those around you.
They are the voices of people telling each other the truth……
about their past hurts,
about their secret hopes,
about their faith & their doubts.
And each voice you recognise,
even though you can see no face,
because each face belongs to someone
whom you have judged & found wanting.
Each voice belongs to someone
who has been ignored,
or gossiped about
or put down in conversation
because you knew only part of their story.
And now you hear it all.
And as they speak,
their voices summon up the emotions
which led you to make judgement:
your impatience with people
who take a long time to say what they mean,
your jealousy of those
who do what you wish you could do
or have what you wish you could have,
your anger at those
who hold opinions which you cannot agree with
your fear of those
whose generosity or thoughtfulness
shows up your indifference.
And as you listen,
as you are compelled to listen
to what is in their hearts,
and realise what is in yours,
you bow your head
and regret all the quick conclusions
and false presumptions.
You know you will see clearly again if you remove the log in your eye.
What might we see?
Donal Neary SJ.
If he opened our eyes
what might we see?
A vision that is new
Of self & others
of the world & God.
We might look on God’s creation with the eyes of God
God is inside us looking out
rather than outside us looking in;
and we see ourselves as children of God:
a son or daughter who is loved
a sinner forgiven & called;
and we see others the same
a gift not a threat
and even on the person who grates
the life of God does dwell –
This is a new vision!
All God’s people
crying with his cry,
hungering for food
a voice to console
a hand to comfort.
This is a new vision
disturbing our comfort:
a vision that is new
a vision that is disturbing
a vision that is everything.
In him we live & move & have our being.
John 8. 1-11.
Then everyone went home, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early the next morning he went back to the Temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and began to teach them. The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery, and they made her stand before them all. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. In our Law Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?” They said this to trap Jesus, so that they could accuse him. But he bent over and wrote on the ground with his finger. As they stood there asking him questions, he straightened up and said to them, “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.” Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground. When they heard this, they all left, one by one, the older ones first. Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there. He straightened up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?”
“No one, sir,” she answered.
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.”
Who do you most identify with in this story? The adulterous woman who, though guilty, did not deserve death by stoning? (Besides, where was her partner in adultery? Was he not equally guilty?) Or do you see yourself in those who condemned her, shamed her publicly and were willing to stone her? Or do you identify with Jesus who spoke kindly to her, refused to condemn her, and simply encouraged her to lead a more moral life in future? Mercy is a high priority in Jesus’ value system. Is there someone to whom you are called to be merciful (forgiving)?
Interesting that Jesus says first that he does not condemn the woman & only after that forgiveness does he tell her to sin no more – forgiveness is not dependent on her not sinning in the future.