We invite you to pause and ponder on your journey through Lent with Davog tonight. Let us ponder the words of Jesus in the Gospel text for the fifth Sunday of Lent: “Neither do I condemn you.” Blessings
On our Lenten pilgrimage along with Jesus, the Gospel text for Sunday 5 is a dramatic story from John chapter 8 , where a woman caught in a sinful situation is brought before Jesus by religious leaders who are demanding that she be stoned to death.
The Gospel recounts that Jesus invited any person among them who was without sin to throw the first stone. And the accusers left the scene, one by one, until only the woman and Jesus remained.
In a homily long ago, St Augustine left us a striking comment on this moment in the story. The two of them were left there, he says, Jesus and the woman: Mercy and Misery.
Please God they are not too frequent, but we can all have our days when we feel a bit miserable. Indeed it is a word that many of us have had reason to use about our experience of Lough Derg, especially when the weather turns unkind.
There are deeper miseries, of course, and some that endure. But Jesus spoke a word of mercy that transformed the woman’s experience.
“Neither do I condemn you,” he told the woman. “Go, and do not sin any more.”
More than once, Pope Francis has insisted to priests that the ministry of the priest as confessor is essentially a ministry of Mercy.
May this be the experience of every penitent who approaches the Sacrament of Reconciliation as Easter draws near.
We pause and ponder the gracious words of Jesus: “Neither do I condemn you.”