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Rough Cuts: If you are without sin, then…

Today is Sunday, the 7th of April, 2019. It is the first Sunday of the month but is the 5th Sunday of Lent.

This day’s Psalm is, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”The 1st Reading of the day is from Isaiah 43:16-21. It says:

Thus says Yahweh, who opened a way to the sea and a path in the mighty waters, who brought down chariots and horses, a whole army of them, and there they lay, never to rise again, snuffed out like a wick.

But do not dwell on the past, or remember the things of old.

Look, I am doing a new thing: now it springs forth. Do you not see? I am opening up a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The beast of the land will honor me, jackals and ostriches, because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert that my chosen people may drink.

I have formed this people for myself; they will proclaim my praise.

This Sunday’s 2nd Reading is from Philippians 3:8-14.

Still more, everything seems to me, as nothing, compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake, I have let everything fall away, and I now consider all as garbage, if, instead, I may gain Christ. May I be found in him, not having a righteousness that God gives, to those who believe.

May I know him, and experience the power of his resurrection, and share in his sufferings, and become like him, in his death, and attain, through this, God willing, the resurrection from the dead!

I do not believe I have already reached the goal, nor do I consider myself perfect, but I press on till I conquer Christ Jesus, as I have already been conquered by him. No, brothers and sisters, I do not claim to have claimed the prize yet. I say only this: forgetting what is behind me I race forward, and run towards the goal, my eyes on the prize, to which God has called us from above, in Christ Jesus.

Today’s Gospel is from John 8:1-11. It says:

As for Jesus, he went to the Mount of Olive. At daybreak Jesus appeared in the temple again. All the people came to him, and he sat down and began to teach them.

Then the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They made her stand in front of everyone. “Master,” they said, “this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now the law of Moses orders that such women be stoned to death; but you, what do you say?” They said this to test Jesus, in order to have some charge against him.

Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. And as they continued to ask him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who has no sin be the first to throw a stone at her. And he bent down, again, writing on the ground.

As a result of these words, they went away, one by one, starting with the elders, and Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing before him. Then Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go away and don’t  sin again.”

READ: A woman who was caught committing adultery was brought to Jesus. Isaiah calls the people not to lose heart but to anticipate God’s promise of redemption. Paul kept his eye on the goal, which is “to gain trust.”

REFLECT: The teacher of the law and the Pharisees were never interested to learn a lesson from Jesus. Their question was simply “to test” Jesus so they could have an argument against him. Instead Jesus asked them to scrutinize themselves “If no one among them has no sin” in the end, the woman was left alone standing before Jesus, he did not condemn her, but give her freedom from sin.

NB: Our heartfelt thanks to the Claretian Communication Foundation, Inc. based in Quezon City, publisher of the book Bible Diary 2019 where we are sourcing the Words of God that we share to our fellow faithful every Sunday.

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