Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 8:1-11)
The theme of forgiveness is prominent, as on previous Sundays, Jesus is being tested, as so often by the religious leaders of his day. The matter of fidelity to the Law of Moses is raised in a dramatic way. The actions of Jesus are eloquent. He crouches down to write on the ground, turning away from judgement and condemnation. He then ‘stands up’ to deliver words of forgiveness, words which restore her life to the woman and allow her to rise. Words of forgiveness empower us to stand erect, and to accept the challenge not to sin again.
Am I prepared to understand and pardon the sinner?
Do I value the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a way of receiving for myself the new future offered to the woman in the gospel passage?
We pray for readiness to seek the forgiveness of Christ.
We pray for all those trapped in lifestyles of abuse.
Passion (Palm) Sunday (Luke 22:14-23:56)
The gospel reading, which includes the words of Jesus on the cross and the account of his death, is only part of Luke’s story of the Passion. Even amid suffering Jesus shows great compassion to others. He prays for forgiveness for his executioners, who ‘do not know what they are doing’. He promises paradise to the criminal who seeks forgiveness.
Jesus’ final words in Luke are taken from Psalm 31, ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit.’ The evangelist tells us of the trust of Jesus at the moment of death. Jesus knows that the Father will not abandon him but raise him up on the third day. As the story of Jesus’ death concludes, the hope of resurrection remains.
What are the striking features of the story of the passion as told by Luke?
Take time this week to read the complete story of the Passion and death of Christ.
We pray for the willingness to die with Christ to rise with him to new life.
Let us join with the Church throughout the world to live Holy Week to the full.
Fr Adrian Graffy