“Neither do I condemn you…”
Jesus liberates the woman caught in adultery with these words after saving her from death by stoning. This act of mercy ought to console us as well, if we can place ourselves in this scene. This is a simple meditation where we can read the Gospel account that we have this weekend (John 8:1-11). Classic ‘Lectio’ invites one to first read the account, then think about what is happening,thirdly to place oneself in the scene and speak with Our Lord, and finally to listen in a contemplative way to what He may have to say to us. You can also use something like the “Passion of the Christ” DVD which does a good job of depicting this scene.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation captures the essence of this encounter when the penitent tells their sins, making themselves vulnerable to judgment in a very real sense. While priests are trained to be merciful, telling another person one’s sins can give rise to that fear of punishment inherent with sin. John writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18) In the confessional we meet perfect love, just as the adulterous woman did. Jesus did not come to condemn us, but to save us.
No, I’m not talking about the University of Idaho. Sadly, we experienced vandalism on our campus this past
weekend. Both Our Lady’s shrine and the Labyrinth suffered vandalism and desecration. At least one person in our
neighborhood needs forgiveness. I would beg you to join me in prayer for him or her or them, with these words:
Prayer for Strength to Forgive
Faultless Lord, enduring death for me, You have consummated the debt of my sins:
Your sacrifice of forgiveness was absolute! Grant me the strength to also forgive others,
(especially whoever damaged our Church)
To excuse their transgressions against me. So I may truly reflect this spiritual fruit,
Obliterate any persistent feelings of malice. Let each trespass end as a closing chapter,
My continuing on the road of righteousness. Forgive my sins as I aspire to forgive others.
You are truly archetypical of forgiveness. You are a most forgiving Lord!
‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’
Imagine this poor soul being bombarded with grace. We all need it. We all have done wrong. On a practical note, we will be looking at how to make our grounds more secure, especially during the night hours. If you have expertise in this area, feel free to forward information to Jim Spencer at the parish office. Do be careful while coming and going from meetings and report anything suspicious to the office or to the police directly if it is serious. Trials can be a sign of progress, that our spiritual growth and the many blessings we are experiencing as a community have not gone unnoticed. Not to blame every mischievous act on the devil, but attacks against the Blessed Virgin do not flow from a pure heart. Thank you for your prayers.
- Fr. Ed
- ► 2011 (50)
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- ▼ March (7)