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Fifth Sunday of Lent

“Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
John 8:10-11

The image above is a reminder that God does not keep a record of our wrong doings. Before him, every day is a new day. In his dialogue with the woman, Jesus does not go back to the past offense committed. He does not humiliate her further by asking uncomfortable questions, such as when did you commit adultery? With whom did you do it? Instead, he pays attention to the now.

He knows that the woman has already suffered humiliation by her accusers and what she needs at this moment is restoration to wholeness. We imagine Jesus saying these consoling words from today’s first reading to the woman, “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!”

What a powerful way this is to reveal mercy, love and forgiveness! God does not condemn us for our sins but invites us to a personal transformation and encounter with him so that our lives may be filled with joy.

As we come to the end of our Lenten period, may we continue to pursue God with all our heart. He cannot fail to forgive the people he formed for himself. Engulfed in his open heart, let us return to him, rejoicing, for he is gracious and merciful, ready to pardon all our transgressions and provide a new beginning for us!

Remembering the daily gift of God’s mercy, let us all say in one voice, “The Lord has done great things for us.”

Reflection: Susan Nankya, RSCJ, and Betty Nakato, RSCJ