Cycle C

Good News C18

Fifth Sunday in Lent

 

John 8:1-11 New American Bible

John 8:1-11 Bible Gateway NIV

 

         

          This is the Fifth Sunday in Lent.  There is still time to dedicate ourselves to God before Easter. This is the perfect time to get closer to God.  Today’s Gospel is about the lady that the people were going to stone to death because she had sinned.  Jesus said for the person who had not sinned to throw the first stone.  No one was without sin, therefore no one stoned this woman. 

We seem to notice little things about other people.  We judge them.  We say, “She should have done it this way.  He should have done it that way.  If it were me, I would never have done that.”  God does not want us to judge others.  If we walked a mile in another person’s shoes then we might see things a little differently.  We might not be so quick to judge them and say they were wrong.

In the world today, many people are ready to throw stones.  Throwing stones – violence – seems to be the first reaction of people today.  Just like it was in Jesus’ time. If someone broke the law, they stoned them to death.  However, Jesus asks us today…just as he did many years ago...to step back and take a look at ourselves.  He wants us to look in the mirror.  We all have faults.  Each of our faults has a different look about them.  Some people’s “stones” are what they say…words that are hurtful, judgmental, and/or lies.  Some people’s “stones” are their actions.  They fail to respect life.  They hit others rather than talking.  They steal things rather than work for them.  They eat too much food, thinking that food will solve their problems.  They take drugs to try to forget about their problems.  Then instead of having fewer problems, they have more.

If you don’t forgive yourself and others, the stone you throw hits the other person and turns like a boomerang and comes back to you.  You have to carry this stone around with you all the time.  You cannot put it down anywhere.  It is stuck to you like a magnet. The only way to get rid of this stone is to take responsibility for your actions.  You have to ask God to forgive you for your sins.  When God forgives you, the hard stone will change to a jewel of love.  You will be wearing the ring of love of your creator, your heavenly Father.  When you feel the love of God’s forgiveness surrounding you, then you can forgive yourself.  When you have forgiven yourself, then you can step back and forgive others.  You can take this ring of love and forgiveness off and share it with someone.  When you share forgiveness and love, God’s love gives both of you shining jewels on a ring of love.  When you look at your finger, the ring has come back.  The other person also has a shining jewel on a ring of love.  Each time you receive forgiveness, the “jewel” sparkles a little brighter.  The more you give love and forgiveness away, the more the jewel sparkles.  Magically, it is as if you never gave it away at all.  It keeps coming back to you…so you always have enough to share.                      

          Say the “Our Father.” Thank God for helping you forgive others and to forgive yourself.  Each time you forgive and ask to be forgiven you get a little closer to him.     

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.”

              

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Joan Y. Edwards