Readings for Sunday, March 13 — Fifth Sunday of Lent
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11
Suggested Reflection Questions:
The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah shares God’s exhortation to the people of Israel to not dwell on the wonders God has worked on their behalf in the past, but to instead be attentive to the new thing God is doing in their present. This week, try not to dwell on the past. What “new thing” is God doing in your life this Lent? This week? Today? Are there distractions that make it hard to perceive?
In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul writes about how he is striving to both forget what lies behind in his past and move forward in his pursuit of heaven. Have you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent? What lies behind you that you need to forget in order to forgive yourself? After receiving this Sacrament and completing your penance, let it go. The mistakes of your past don’t have to dictate your future. Just ask St. Paul and St. Augustine.
- In John’s Gospel, Jesus is presented with a woman caught in the act of adultery. While the law gives the crowd of religious leaders and bystanders the right to stone her for her offense, Jesus instructs them that the one among them with no sins should throw the first stone. After the crowd has dispersed and no stone has been hurled, Jesus tells the woman that he does not condemn her. He instructs her to go and sin no more. Why doesn’t Jesus condemn her? Why does he give her a fresh start despite her troubled past?