Night Prayer for Holy Week
May the Lord grant you a quiet night and a perfect end.
Each evening during Holy Week
Palm Sunday Night to Easter Sunday Night
Join us for a short recitation of the the
Night Prayer of the Church on Zoom, link here
“If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
BUILT WITH BOLDGRID
- Daily Mass Readings
- ActionPerhaps today I would try to find a place for the loving, healing spirit of God in what I do and in what I say so that I will not lose sight of the person in front of me and their suffering whether it is evident to me or not.
- PrayerLord help me to remember that everything I do and everything I say is animated by your love which holds me in being:
Please Lord make me humble and grateful for your loving kindness:
Help me to radiate this loving kindness to those I meet today.
Jesus Face to Face
In today’s Gospel reading St. John tells a story about a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery and who has been brought to Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees. Insensitive to her plight they make her stand in full view of everybody. To be caught in the act of adultery is not only a sin against the Law of Moses but carries with it the gravest penalty, that of death by stoning. They ask Jesus for his views on what should happen to this woman now. They do not want to know what Jesus thinks, it is rather a clever way of catching him out, to find something that they can use against him, something perhaps that will result in Jesus meeting a similar fate as the Law of Moses has prescribed for this adulterous woman.
I wonder did Jesus recognise the very clever calculations going on in their heads, He does not however calculate in return. He does not see this woman who has no choice but to stand there in the full glare of the assembled crowd as an object of judgement. He does not see her and her plight as a ball to be bounced in a game of legal “one-up-man ship” His care is for this unique woman who has no one to plead her case: This unique woman with her personal story albeit shabby in parts. His concern is to heal this woman, to restore to her, her self respect, and her hopes, lost perhaps in the stories of her undoing that led to her unveiling in such a cruel and public way.
Jesus is not afraid of the men of power in his audience. This is because the needs of this woman are greater and more immediate than any desire Jesus might have to establish his bone fides as an erudite son of the Law. He knows what is at issue here is not the Law but the spirit of the Law, the forgiving, healing, loving spirit of God that animates the Law. Then, in the sight and presence of this woman he begins to write on the ground. The text does not tell us explicitly what he wrote. Implicit, however in his direction that those without sin should throw the first stone is the possibility that he knew the thoughts, feelings, and actions of her accusers and one, some or all of these were not always in accordance with the Law of Moses. This has a salutary effect on her accusers and on the crowd, all of whom move away “beginning with the eldest”
Alone with her he asks her two question. His tone is gentle. He reassures her that he will not condemn her either. The kindness of this face-to-face encounter perhaps opens up the possibility that she would heed His invitation, that is, that she would go away and sin no more.
Saying “yes” to God is about understanding my need of God’ forgiveness, only then will I be able to meet another person with their challenges and vulnerabilities. I can postpone this meeting with myself before God, but I can never avoid it completely even if I would hide in the tickets of clever legal argument, rules, and regulations