Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

“Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Gospel: John 8:1-11

1 While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Gospel Summary

The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who was guilty of adultery. The asked Him what should be done with her? They were in fact trying to trick Jesus into going against the law of Moses by not having the woman stoned or going against the Roman law that did not allow the Jewish people to impose the death sentence. Jesus took His time to answer, and then instructed anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. Of course no-one could do this, and the crowd slowly drifted away. Jesus then tells the woman that He does not condemn her – and that she should go, and not sin again.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How would you feel if you were the adulterous woman’s husband? Or the wife of the man she committed adultery with? Pretty angry right?! There are plenty of words we can use to describe this woman – home wrecker, whore, dirty, cheap, the list goes on. And quite right – adultery destroys marriages and families. So why did Jesus seemingly let her get away with it? There are three reasons here: firstly, Jesus was making the point that as human beings, we do not have the moral authority to condemn one another. We are all sinners, and all in need of God’s forgiveness. Secondly, he was revealing the very essence of Good News – that Gods love and mercy are greater than our sins. And thirdly, He was drawing attention to the fact that this woman was not just a sinner but a person.

In some ways, my own judgemental reaction to this woman reminds me of the elder brother’s reaction in the prodigal son – “How can God love this sinner as much as He loves me?” At the end of the day we have to face our own reaction for what it is: jealous, self-righteous moral snobbery (ouch!). This story is a true lesson in humility for us!

How do we react to our fellow sinners? The drug addict, the prostitute, the divorced and re-married, the homosexual, the atheist, the young woman who had an abortion? Do we see the person, or just the sin? Do we take into account that there are circumstances and a complex history for this person that has led them to where they are? Or do we stand there holding our stone, ready to throw it?

Judgment day will come, and justice will be served – but that is God’s job, not ours.

  • Each one of us is created in the image and likeness of God.
  • Do I realise my own dignity?
  • Do I realise the dignity of others?

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

 – St. Francis of Assisi

* GOD BLESS OUR NEW POPE FRANCIS! *

602138_480432038688828_782792559_n
POPE FRANCIS  TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS Pope Francis I In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic). As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients. True disciple of Christ!!! To be more precise True Vicar of Christ!!!

16 thoughts on “Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

  1. What a nasty bigot you are!! Perhaps you need to spend some time with some people less fortunate than yourself!! Put yourself in Christ’s shoes. Looking after and helping people in difficult situations. Are you American, or just ignorant and small minded. Predudice, misinformed and unfeeling. Looking down your blog many of your facts are misinformed. You talk about not casting the first stone, yet you judge by your comments.

    • Um, hi fleur! How you doing?! You wanna expand on your comments a little? (And no I’m not American – What’s wrong with bring American? – or are you just racist?!).

    • I feel you have misunderstood the article somewhat! What has upset you so much? Is it because I have used the word ‘sinners’?

      • If you feel I have misunderstood the article then perhaps you need to be careful how you put things across. I think it is a disgrace the way you arrogantly decide which sinners you name…. Why this choice? Perhaps it would be better to speak about the person who turns away from someone in need. The rich who do not share with the poor! The parent who abuses their child! Some of your pictures in this blog are also a disgrace. We are a catholic family, we do not decide who are sinners and who are not, this is not our right! Nor would we dream of victimising those few you decide to put forward. You call you blog faith in our families… I would not want to share your blog with my children. I hope they will use their faith in a way that Christ modelled, with compassion, empathy and love for all. We as Catholics have a history that has been full of predudice, victimising people for all sorts of things. It is a shame that there is still a minority who carry this on. It is time it stopped!

  2. Hi Fleur, I’m afraid you have misunderstood the article. The whole point of the article is to draw attention to the fact that underneath our sins we are still people. We are all made in the image and likeness of God and that, by definition, gives us dignity. I was also drawing attention to the fact that it is easy for us to forget this and just see the sin and not the person underneath.
    You are quite right – I could have used any of the examples of sin that you have described, but I decided to use the ones I did because I feel they are the most misunderstood and provoke the strongest reaction amongst Christians. Judging from your own reaction, I was right!
    I have obviously struck a personal chord with you somewhere – I don’t know where – but please be assured, the whole point of the article was to recognise the person underneath the sin, not to single people out as being ‘sinners’ because quite frankly, we all fit into that category!
    I think the real problem here is that perhaps you don’t recognise the things I have listed (drug abuse, homosexuality, abortion ect…) as being sinful. Well if you are a Catholic (i’m assuming you are) then this is something you are going to have to come to terms with in your own time. You and I do not have the authority to decide what is sinful or not – only God does! It is clear from the Catechism, the teachings of Jesus and even the 10 commandments that I have not said anything that is untrue.
    Sin is something that harms us and causes us to turn away from God. The things that I have listed are sins, there is no escaping that. People often don’t want to mention sin today for fear of being politically in-correct. This is one of the biggest failings of modern western society. But the Church understands this and gives us the chance to turn back to God through Prayer and ultimately Confession. There is always a way out for us, always a second chance – no matter how many times we stumble. We have a God who loves us and sees us for who we really are – underneath our sins. If only we could try to see ourselves and each other through His eyes it would make the whole thing easier to understand I think!
    Hope this explains things a little better.

    • I don’t think I have misunderstood at all. It is very easy to hide behind you faith. Nor have you hit a personal cord, except that I think you are very misguided and arrogant. I have read the whole of your blog and I think you have issues with certain sections of society and you are using your faith to hit out at these. I don’t think the catholic faith is scared of political correctness. (Yes we are a catholic family! )Far from it. I think it is very easy to hit on the sections of society you have done, particularly on a blog. Those who have difficult times or circumstances. Do you have any experience of working with these sections of society, some who are also Catholic? Very easy to speculate from a middle class conservative perspective. I not sure you are able to use your faith to empathise or understand as your experience is no doubt very limited. Perhaps when you are able to speak out for others sins you will have gained some empathy and greater insight and understanding. This goes much further than a mere course from an institute. Life’s experiences and true faith will lead you not to quote others as sinners! I wonder if you have ever met any of those who you quote as sinners. You can look at people as you wish, attack sections of society through your blog as you wish, use your religion to hurt, quote from the bible to support your own opinions. This has been done throughout history to the detriment of religion and society.

  3. Yes I had pretty much done it all by the time I was 18, before my conversion of heart. Yes I know, and have loved the people I write about. My Life’s experience and true faith have enabled me to quote myself as a (forgiven) sinner, and it is my true wish that others who are in the same position as I was will have the courage and grace to be able to recognise their own sin, and turn back to God.

    • Gosh you must have been busy. Taking drugs, getting divorced and remarried, prostitution and sleeping with women all before 18! I live a very sheltered life in comparison! Of course then it is appropriate for you to speak for all sinners and point out those particular ones as you have such personal experience. I suppose it is true then that you should make mockery of homosexual love on your site with ridiculous pictures of the two Princes. You know as well as I do that the equality marriage bill is not about siblings marrying! Of course those that break all the rules often are the ones who point the finger and become the extremists. I think you seriously need to look into your heart and allow others to make judgements. As I have said before your comments on your site show very little reflection or sensitivity. Perhaps instead of wasting your time giving your rather predudice views on a blog ….. You should get out there and use your experience in spending time working with those in need with compassion!

      • Perhaps I have not made it clear to you where I am coming from. I believe a true Catholic is someone who strives to live their life through doing good and seeing good in others. Loving and helping others. Sharing and guiding. Living their life as an example to others through their actions not their judgements. Your blog makes me cringe to think Catholics are like you! Mocking, pointing their fingers, sarcastic! Those of true faith do not need to spread the word in the way you are doing, are you wanting some sort of public recognition . To suggest you are guiding families is appalling. This is the last I have to say! I will not visit your site again as I think what you are promoting is far from good catholic values. I am sorry you are allowed to have a link to your blog from the newsletter!

  4. Fleur, you have called me a nasty bigot, ignorant and small minded. prejudice, misinformed and unfeeling and arrogant. You have wrongly assumed that I am an American and that I come from a fairytale background. You then go on to mock my own personal testimony which is very hurtful. Why such abuse?
    Is all this because I have quoted homosexuality as a sin? Fleur, if that is the case then it is the Catholic Church as a whole you should be throwing your stones at – not just me. I have said nothing wrong. If your own personal views on homosexuality conflict with those of the Catholic Church then, like I said before, that is something you are going to have to come to terms with in your own time.
    The whole point of this article was to draw attention to the fact that we should love the sinner not the sin.
    I’m sorry you have so obviously misunderstood it.

    • Oh dear!!! As I have previously said I have no particular views on homosexuality any more than any other of the issues you mention. I pointed to this as you clearly do as noted in your blog and now again!! What I was pointing out is your choice of sinners. You should be using the word sin in relation to all of us and picking on things that we all are guilty of. Instead you pick on minority groups. Clearly you have real issues inside yourself. It is not your place to JUDGE! You are not a good advert for helping families in the faith that is the point. Your advert should be one of compassion and love….No doubt you will want the last word so feel free!

  5. “Jesus was making the point that as human beings, we do not have the moral authority to condemn one another. We are all sinners, and all in need of God’s forgiveness.
    In some ways, my own judgemental reaction to this woman reminds me of the elder brother’s reaction in the prodigal son – “How can God love this sinner as much as He loves me?” At the end of the day we have to face our own reaction for what it is: jealous, self-righteous moral snobbery (ouch!). This story is a true lesson in humility for us!
    How do we react to our fellow sinners? The drug addict, the prostitute, the divorced and re-married, the homosexual, the atheist, the young woman who had an abortion? Do we see the person, or just the sin? Do we take into account that there are circumstances and a complex history for this person that has led them to where they are? Or do we stand there holding our stone, ready to throw it?”

    I don’t know how I can put it any more clearly Fleur?! I am not picking on drug addicts and prostitutes etc. I am challenging the reader to consider if they judge people in the same way that the scribes and the Pharisees were!

    Re-read it – please! Because at the moment you are under the impression that I am a nasty bigot, when in fact, I am saying the exact opposite! Just read it again – slowly this time! x

    • I apologise for calling you a bigot, perhaps a bit unnecessary of me. However, I still stand by the fact as we are talking about families and faith it would have been far better to have used some simple examples of sin applicable to all. I still believe these minority groups are bashed and bashed and bashed when indeed we are all sinners! So why use them as examples when indeed you could have found others. This was my point. Also within your wider blog I felt your attitude was mocking, dismissive and unnecessary to some of these groups. Some of the points you made unfounded and therefore I felt from a personal point rather than a true Religious stance. I think that is not a message we should be putting across as Catholics in any way. I am not totally blind in what you were trying to do, however, I think you totally missed. It comes across as superior (that is the politest way I can put it)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s