Pastor's Desk: 5th Sunday of Lent

Posted 20th March 2010 in Pastor's Desk

Welcome everyone to our celebrations on this the Fifth Sunday of Lent. We are beginning the last two weeks of our Lenten observances and the great feast of Easter is nearly upon us. The Readings of today’s Mass emphasise the loving forgiveness of God. In particular, the Gospel from John shows Jesus as a means of that forgiveness for the woman caught committing adultery.

Some immediate thoughts come to mind as we read the passage prayerfully; firstly, the woman was caught sinning against the Commandments laid down by Moses but where is the man who was also guilty with her? Why is she humiliated and dragged through the streets alone? Secondly, the Jewish law was very severe on this sin and would stone to death anyone caught so this is a perilous situation for her.

In bringing the woman before Jesus the Pharisees and Scribes were not consulting a higher authority they respected. They were fed up with Jesus and the fact he was always to be found in the company of sinners. He didn’t shun them like they did. Now they have the perfect chance to catch him out. By brining this sinner to him he will have to make a choice; should they follow the Law of God’s great prophet Moses, or is Jesus going to disown Moses and say let her go. If he takes the first option then the people will see he is no different to the Pharisees and Scribes; if the second, then he is not following the laws of God. It was perfect or so they thought. In the end Jesus merely doodles on the dusty ground in the tense silence and when he does say something it is; “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. When they have dispersed Jesus asks the woman, “Does no-one condemn you?” Then he will not condemn her, “go and sin no more”.

Some traditions hold that Jesus wrote various sins on the ground and as the mob watched with stones in their hands, they realised that there was no way that they would be throwing that first stone and so walked away. Jesus had not denied the Law of Moses but he challenged those who would apply it to others to search their own hearts first. Our season of Lent is about recognising our sinfulness and failings but also knowing we do so in the presence of the loving forgiveness of God.

Deanery Meeting with Archbishop Martin

As announced at Masses last Sunday the Priests and members of the Parish Pastoral Councils from 12 parishes in this Deanery met with Archbishop Martin last Monday evening in Portmarnock. He set out his vision for the grouping of parishes and how there would be greater collaboration across parish boundaries; priests assisting in each others’ parishes; the need to reduce the number of Masses available; and special attention to youth ministry. His comments were well received as the facts stood for themselves. Holy Trinity Parish was well represented and the meeting will be the focus of discussion when the PPC meets this week.

Have a Great week.
Fr. Eoin

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