Daniel 13:41-62; John 8:1-11
From the Gospel of John, we hear this story of the Woman Found in Adultery, and this time, the woman is guilty as charged. She has been dragged in front of Jesus as the educated community leaders want to "have some charge to bring against him." A tool of the scribes and Pharisees, a condemned criminal on the equivalent of Death Row, she doesn't ask for forgiveness. She couldn't expect forgiveness. But Jesus quietly reminds those educated community leaders that each of them is imperfect -- perhaps guilty of hatred and anger, perhaps of other errors of judgment. Giving a wonderful sign that they have truly heard what Jesus has said, they leave. Further, anytime this story is used in teaching morality, it's pointed out that Jesus does not say her sin is OK. He doesn't say she's forgiven. He says "Neither do I condemn you." He tells her to leave, like her accusers, and to amend her life.
Ezekiel 37:12-14;Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45
The readings for today resonate with resurrection themes. The full passage from Ezekiel (I always find it hard to read the excerpts if they don't tell the full story) is a step-by-step process of raising the dead, from bleached bones to infusion of spirit, with the guiding hand of God present throughout. Paul certainly continues the theme in the excerpt from Romans, but Paul seems to emphasize more the presence of the spirit in the whole resurrection process. And the story of Lazarus is certainly one of hope for all who believe in Jesus - there will be a resurrection. And so at one level faith in the resurrection of the body at God's hand is central to today's readings.
Jeremiah 11:18-20; John 7:40-53
In the Gospel reading today (verses 40 to 53), there is the discussion among the people about who Jesus is, where he comes from and whether he is the Prophet, or the Messiah. Furthermore, the Pharisees think that the ones who believe in Jesus and think he is the Messiah are the “crowds who do not know the law,” and the guards who have also been “deceived” by him. The Pharisees had their own image of God and they knew the law so well that their hearts were closed to Jesus’ revelation of God.
“This Friday, March 27 at 6 p.m., I will preside over a moment of prayer outside of St. Peter's Basilica with the square empty. As now, I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the media,” Pope Francis said March 22 in his livestreamed Angelus address.
“Urbi et Orbi” means “To the City [of Rome] and to the World.” It is a special apostolic blessing given by the pope from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica every year on Easter Sunday, Christmas, and other special occasions.
Their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God. (Wisdom 2:21-22)
In today’s reading from Wisdom, we eavesdrop on a surly bunch. They are not troubled by their wicked deeds. They concede their corruption in a cynical way. After all, this is how the world runs. Get used to it. But one guy will not sit at their table. He does not play the game. Without fear, he calls them out. In his face they glimpse their diminished state. Such clear vision is offensive. He must be destroyed and all the rubbish about justice with him. Let his God save him.
Exodus 32:7-14 ; John 5:31-47
Today’s Gospel shows the struggle Jesus is having with the Jewish community. He wants them to take Him seriously. Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true….But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave to me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.”
In the days before the aves rang
She carried empty earthen jars to water,
Baking golden bread and dreaming the wispy dreams
That young girls create in their waking hours.
A young man has smiled upon them, and a fine home
Will soon will be their very own domain of earthly bliss,
Even housing perfect little children of their very own!
On Wednesday, 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation, the Pope has invited “the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us” – the Our Father. “On that day on which many Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word”, Pope Francis prayed, “may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ”.
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; John 5:1-16
In today’s readings I find the potential benefits of water as a recurring theme. We hear of water in the desert and a pool with potentially healing powers. In the last month, this has not been many people’s experience of water, rather than life-giving, water has shown itself as destructive.