Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

    Isaiah 43:16-21                Philippians 3: 8-14              John 8: 1-11

Theme: The mercy of God

The gospel of St. John, presents to us the loving mercy of our God. The woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus for condemnation, but instead Jesus used the opportunity to educate his audience and sets the woman free; with a stern warning not to repeat the same sin. Jesus condemned the sin of adultery but did not condemn the woman, but rather showed her mercy. The scribes and Pharisees have already condemned the woman according to the Law of Moses, not minding the fact that they are not completely free of sin. This is seen in the statement of Jesus, if there is anyone without sin, let him be the first to throw the stone; and we were told that they all went away one after the other, which means they were all guilty.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the reality around us. We are quick to condemn those who have been caught in one sin or evil action or the other; and we present ourselves as innocent and holy because we have not been caught like the other person. Today’s gospel is saying a lot to us as children of God. We have to be slow in condemning others, especially when you know that you are not without sin in your own life. The fact that you have not been caught does not exonerate you from your sins, because God knows us through and through and cannot be deceived with the externals that you want people to see.

In view of this, we can all identify with at least one of the characters in todays gospel reading. Whether with the woman caught in adultery, the scribes and the Pharisees, and lastly with Jesus. The season of Lent invites us in a very special way to imbibe the spirit of Jesus that does not condemn anyone, but presents the opportunity for mercy and a renewal of life. In the actions of both the woman and the scribes and Pharisees we see human weakness that is need of healing mercy; and that is what Jesus presents to us in a very special way today.

Let us listen to the admonition of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians in the 2nd reading. Let the past be, and look forward to a brighter future that awaits you. We may have made mistakes in the past that we are not proud of, let it go and embrace the newness of life presented to us today in our liturgy. Never allow your past mistakes to enslave you, work on it and move on with your life.

May God grant us the grace to emulate Christ in all that we do. Peace be with you.


Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp