Fifth Sunday of Lent


Today we mark the fifth Sunday of Lent.  These days have gone very quickly. During this Lenten season, Jesus continues to show us that God is full of mercy and forgiveness. God looks beyond our faults and sees what we need. All of us need God’s love which is everlasting no matter what.

In our Gospel today we hear the familiar story of the woman accused of adultery being brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees.  Jesus knew what was behind them bringing her before Him.  They brought the woman but where was her partner as it takes two to tango.  He was nowhere to be found.  At this point we see Jesus bend down and start writing in the sand.  What was He writing?  Was he writing down the names of those present?  Was He writing down their individual sins down?  As Jesus writes they begin to leave one by one, dropping their stones as they left.  Jesus extends mercy and forgiveness to all.

Our loving God knows us at our deepest level.  God knows our strengths and abilities. God knows limitations and weaknesses but always offers mercy as his gift to us all. When we look back over our lives and how far we have come, we know that it must have been the hands of God that saved us from ourselves.

I remember being on retreat once and the director invited me to take a walk on the beach and sit with this Gospel.  As I did so she had given me an exercise to do where I was invited to write in the sand all the things I wanted to surrender to God.  It did not take long to write in the sand.  The hard part came when the next direction was to read the list I had written and then move my hand over it and erase it all symbolizing leaving it with God.  It was a most powerful exercise that I have gone back to many times in my life.  What I learned from this exercise was the abundant love and mercy of God.

Perhaps today is a good day to look at the reality that God’s love surrounds us, and God knows us better than we know ourselves.  God’s love for us is everlasting and will never change.  Let us drop our stones and live in the love and mercy of our God.