3rd APRIL 2022

John 8:1–11 (ESV) - John 8:1–11 ESV - but Jesus went to the Mount… | Biblia

SUNDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

 

Is 43: 16-21;          Ps 126: 1-6;             Phil 3: 8-14;        Jn 8: 1-11


 

THE NEWNESS OF GOD’S LOVING FORGIVENESS

 

In today’s first reading, Isaiah tells us that God is “doing a new deed” by which his chosen people will benefit and thus sing his praise. The Gospel reading reveals that this new deed is the outpouring of God’s unconditional love for his sinful children through the gifts of forgiveness and salvation. The utter completeness of God’s forgiveness is almost incredible. Every event by God is new, complete and perfect. This newness is manifested in the incredible event of the incarnation of God’s only begotten son in the womb of the holy virgin, his birth, infancy, hidden life, public ministry and finally his death and resurrection. The deeds of the Lord are always good. Thus, must we praise and thank him. Says Sirach “When you praise the Lord, exalt him as much as you can for you cannot praise him enough.”

Humanity is redeemed; its sins are forgiven. From the sin of our first parents to that of Zacharias, every single one has been atoned for. God is offering to the men and women of today the lavish and free gift of forgiveness. Yet, the price that was paid was very high – the son of God himself. As he himself declared: “The Son of Man will suffer much”. Isaiah calls him a man of sorrows, almost a leper, without beauty, disfigured, rejected and despised.” Such was his state due to his suffering that the psalmist likens him to a worm and no man.

Yet, despite this newness of God’s merciful love and its power to transform our lives, one could very well reject this gift, by adopting certain deceptive attitudes and succumbing to the temptations of Satan, the father of lies, who does all in his power to lead men and women to final impenitence and eternal damnation. For example, pride in us could make us consider God’s forgiveness as our right or as due to us in repayment for our good life, and as a prerogative of only the chosen ones who are righteous and close to God. One could even be ashamed to humbly beg for mercy since there is nothing that needs to be forgiven; and that one could be saved by certain external observances like prayer and penance. The saints, having countless good works to their merit, never tried to pay God back through these to obtain salvation, but hoped for it in the person of Jesus Christ and his redeeming sacrifice.

Another block can arise when one lives in pretension and duplicity, thinks oneself good and holy simply because of being well spoken of by others, or because one’s sins and misdeeds are not known yet. But the Lord says “woe”, and that it was done to the false prophets too. Furthermore, despite St Peter’s exhortation to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, one can cultivate a false sense of security about salvation and eternal life, taking God’s mercy for granted, or through a spirit of compromise, free oneself from the demands of the cross of Christ, rejecting the trials that are necessary for salvation. Such attitudes can lead to the dangerous sin of presumption.

Therefore, during this lent, through the prayer of Mary, ‘The Easter Madonna’, let us seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be aware of our sinfulness, and to genuinely acknowledge the need for God’s mercy in our lives, as we await the glorious newness of the Resurrection. The sinful woman found newness, but the scribes and Pharisees, ignoring it, chose to remain in their sin.


Response: What great deeds the Lord worked for us! Indeed, we were glad.


Copyright ©2021 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *