Message From The Parish Priest
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT + 21st MARCH 2010. + YEAR OF THE PRIESTS.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Today in the holy Gospel our blessed Lord shows the way of forgiveness for the person who was actually caught in the act of adultery. In the Mosaic Law the sentence was death by stoning it seems as indeed it still is today in some countries.
Our Lord knew the hearts of those who dragged the poor woman into the midst of the crowd, very early in the morning. Our Lord knew that their motive was not zeal for the Mosaic Law but was hatred for Him who was their Saviour and their Lord if only they would recognise Him. They were trying to test him - to "put him on the spot" as they so often did like the time they tried to ask him about the coin Tribute and if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.
They were not sincere. They were using the woman's humiliation in front of the crowd and in full view of all to put our Lord to the test. They were attempting to get our Lord to answer the straight question "Do you or don't you agree with the Mosaic Law?" As on other occasions our Lord refuses to play to their script and he answers with a challenge and it is a challenge that we often use in civil life. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" Jesus says. That flawed them.
Each one started to leave - beaten. What wisdom our Lord had! St John tells us that our Lord then started to write in the sand of the pavement saying nothing. Each man slinked off beginning with the eldest one. Can it be true that the older you are the more sins you have - perhaps, but surely in this case it was true for these were our Lord's enemies. Some say that Jesus was writing their sins in the dust of the pavement and when they saw what he was doing they cleared off but that is another matter.
The fact is that in the end the scene concludes with this wonderful meeting between Jesus Christ and the woman who had been caught "at it" (Notice the man was not brought to Christ).
Listen carefully and take note of the dialogue that ensued.
Jesus: "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
Woman: "No one, sir."
Jesus: "Neither do I condemn you, go away and don't sin anymore."
Whatever problems she had, Jesus had sorted them with that dialogue. So it is true for us. In the Sacrament of Confession the priest ends by telling the sinner: - "The Lord has forgiven you. Go in Peace." Thus Our Lord's Ministry is continued in the Church in our day. What a gift and it has been purchased for us by the shedding of His Blood and that will be the story of Holy Week with Palm Sunday next week.
Hope Lent is going well for you all.
Father Tom Connolly
PALM SUNDAY IS NEXT SUNDAY. Palms will be blessed and given at all Masses. The 11am Mass (10am Mass at St Edwards) will be a special Mass for the First Communion children who will enter the church in procession and take their places. They will have a crucifix around their necks which I had blessed by the Pope to remind them of the Lord's love for them.
TO BE ADDED