Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone.
Any takers? I thought not.
Well that is certainly one of the more immediate impacts of the Lenten season upon us all—the realization that, while we might not get to belong to every group that we would like to belong to in this life, we are guaranteed membership in this group—that of those who sin and need forgiveness. Like a sick person needs a doctor, instructs Jesus, the sinner needs a savior and a redeemer.
Today’s gospel account is often referred to as “The Woman Caught in Sin,” but the point of Jesus’ writing in the sand is to declare that we have ALL been caught in our sins. This 5th week of Lent offers us a final week before Holy Week to encounter Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior, and to emerge stronger in our resolve to walk in his footsteps and to experience Jesus’ pardon and peace.
Why not give yourself the gift of this final full week of Lent? See if there is not a little time to take out of your day to “take a walk with the Lord” or to sit quietly in awareness of his presence. Even better yet, how about celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation? Motivation can come from the very gospel passage we have heard today: Jesus says to “the woman in sin,” “Has no one condemned you? Then neither do I.” When Jesus said that he was sent not to condemn the world but to save it, he really meant it. And do not be concerned about how long it has been since your last confession; the Lord is only interested in the present moment of your reconciliation and your return to grace.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a beautiful way to experience this great part of sacramental life in our Church and a wonderful way to ready oneself for Holy Week. It is one thing to observe the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, Our Lord; it is quite another to become a real part of it right here, right now, by the celebration of the sacraments—especially Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. On Palm Sunday (heads up), I will be encouraging us “to keep Holy Week holy.” Of course, you KNOW we need to “calendar it” now, or it will simply be upon us; and all the distractions of Easter as a holiday will upstage all the days of Holy Week as the holy days that they should be for all Christians.
Looking forward to observing, participating in, and keeping the
High Holy Days with you,