On this fifth Sunday of Lent, the invitation is to recognize the utter completeness of God’s forgiveness and his desire to restore us to new life.
In the first reading, Prophet Isaiah tells how people learned anew that God was to be known through memories and the experience of their lives in the here and now. In the Psalm, the singer recalls and celebrates the joy experienced by the exiles as they return home. God’s mercies in the past give grounds for hope in any present distress.
Paul loves Christ deeply and vividly in the second reading and longs to ‘have Christ, and be given a place in him.’ Besides, he yearns to be in an intimate relationship with him. Yet, Paul also knows that he cannot be complacent and is still ‘straining ahead’ for what is to come. The Gospel tells the story of those who look for public humiliation and condemnation of the woman taken in adultery and of Jesus himself. The accusers have a narrow view of the mercy of God and wish to use the woman as an opportunity for scoring points against Jesus. Nonetheless, Jesus wisely understands and demonstrates the overwhelming mercy of God bravely.
Inspired by Jesus’ demonstration of God’s mercy, let us pray to experience the complete acceptance and forgiveness of Jesus in our lives this day. As followers of Christ, may we be heralds of his life-giving love, mercy, and freedom as we continue to pray for peace in the world.
Joy and peace.