Homily – 5th Sunday Lent C

Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery by Guercino 1621

Homily — 5th Sunday Lent C March 25, 2007

Straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal.

We have now reached the 5th Sunday of Lent and are now heading in to the home stretch, the final two weeks.

We call the last two weeks of Lent “Passiontide.” For the past four straight weeks, we’ve been disciplining ourselves every day through greater prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

While the first few weeks were tough, by now these Lenten penances have become second nature to us, we’re now even starting to enjoy being more in tuned with God and the spiritual world and less in tuned with the material world.

So now that prayer, fasting and almsgiving is on automatic pilot, the next two weeks we need to turn our focus on the Passion and Death of Jesus.

In the Gospel, we see Our Lord Jesus writing on the ground. He stands up, he bends down again and writes again with a finger of one of his hands.

But soon those hands of his will be grabbed and held fast against a piece of wood. Soon those fingers will feel the pain of the nails shooting through them.

Soon Our Lord’s Body, which today freely sits and bends down and stands and bends and stands again, will be fastened to the Cross, and unable to move as It is spit upon and mocked at.

And Jesus will endure this suffering because he wants to save that woman from her terrible sin of adultery. Jesus will take that awful scourging and crucifixion because he wants to save those pharisees from their terrible sin of rash judgment.

And Our Lord Jesus will sweat blood in the Garden and die on Calvary Hill because he wants to save you and me from our sins, especially our terrible sin of spiritual adultery, of not being faithful to our covenant with our Loving God, letting our hearts become cold and indifferent to His law of Love.

The next two weeks of Passiontide is an opportunity to meditate deeply and daily on Jesus’ Passion, and to shed tears along with Peter for the times our sins have caused Jesus to suffer.

For as today’s Psalm says, only Those who sow in tears during Passiontide shall reap rejoicing during Easter.

We shall reap rejoicing because Jesus says to all who journey with Him through Passiontide what He says to the woman in today’s Gospel: Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now do not sin any more.

Straining forward to what lies ahead, may we continue our pursuit toward the goal of Easter joy.

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