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Fifth Sunday of Lent – Cycle C

Reflecting on John 8: 1-11

No way out.  That’s what she must be thinking.  The woman standing in the middle of the Temple area must be sure that there is no way out for her.  The Pharisees have her penned in, a human sacrifice to their need to catch Jesus violating the Law.

Jesus, who knows the meaning of the words mercy, not sacrifice, is her way out.  He seems utterly uninterested in the details.  He simply issues this challenge: okay, you who have never sinned may now step up and throw the first stone. They all walk away, of course, and when he looks up he seems surprised to see her still standing there.  He couldn’t be less interested in condemning her.

His soul calls out to her soul, and the way out is clear.  Mercy.

Another  way out, of course, occurred  twelve hundred years before, when God divided the Sea and the children of Abraham marched through it dry-shod, with the water like a wall on their right and on their left.  If they stayed on land they’d be killed by Pharaoh.  If they went into the water they would drown. So God created a new way, a third way, by opening a way in the sea for them to “pass over”.

Do you think that there is no way out for you, no forgiveness, no chance to move on from your bad behaviors, bad choices, and bad priorities that now have you trapped?  Here’s God’s special love letter to you today:  Remember not the former things.  Don’t ponder the things of the past.  Behold, I’m doing something new.  Watch.

And we will all watch and pray with you.

How have you given someone a way out?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Lent - Cycle C

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