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.
Jer 31:31-34; Hbr 5:7-9; Jn 12:20-33
Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would die. Jn 12:20-33
This passage begins and ends with people coming to Jesus. All the "wrong" people. It’s the gentiles – the heathen – who approach Phil, the one with the Greek name, to ask for an appointment. They’re not the ones who are supposed to be “in the know” about right religion. But somehow they know that Jesus is the one they should talk to. When Jesus talks about being raised up, it’s not the people who are already on the inside, the “right” people, who are drawn in. It’s everyone else who will come to him. In the very next verse (omitted from the lectionary) the crowds (of insiders) don’t get it. They want to know how Jesus can say he’ll be raised up. This doesn’t fit their expectations of religious protocol.
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.
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22; Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
“I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.” (2 Sam: 4-5a)
“The promise [is] guaranteed to all his descendants not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham.” (Rm 4:16)
“He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife [Mary] into his home.” (Matthew 1:24a)
Today is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and earthly father of Jesus of Nazareth. It might seem that we are taking a break from our Lenten readings, but not really. Today as we focus on Joseph we are encouraged to focus on a model of righteousness.
Prayer of St Joseph, sung by Angelina
On Saturday 13th of March, the General Council organized a virtual online meeting with Provincial Council of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, Belize. It is a small Province with 16 final professed Sisters in three communities. The meeting began with a brief report presented by Sr. Clara Teul, Provincial Superior on the actual situation of the communities and Province at large.
The March 8th, was dedicated to the International Women’s Day and on this day the General Council had an online meeting with the Provincial Team of Mother of Divine Love Province, India. Sister Helen Lourdusamy, the Provincial Superior gave a brief orientation to update the present situation of the Province.
On February 26, there was an online meeting of the General Council with the Provincial Council of the Province of Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Tanzania. Sr. Basilisa Jacob, Provincial Superior, presented a report which displayed the current situation of the Province. Sisters in Tanzania are a dynamically developing community, both in terms of new vocations and undertaken apostolic works. Medical care, education, pastoral service - these are the most important directions of the Sisters' evangelical work.
Exodus 32:7-14 ; John 5:31-47
“They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it.” (Exodus 32: 8)
Who has my back? Who speaks for me? Jesus came under attack by leaders of the Jewish community. His scruffy followers were no match for the learned and powerful. Later, when he is arrested, Jesus will remain silent. Here he mounts a punchy defense and cites the highest authorities to testify on his behalf: God, Scripture, healing works. Who needs human testimony with the Almighty on my side? As backup, Jesus cites John the Baptizer and Moses, those who trod the desert highway that led to his saving mission. Jesus’s call comes from above. This assured defense further enflamed his enemies. Nothing irritates the powerful like being omitted from the benefactors list.
Isaiah 49:8-15; John 5:17-30
This is a long and complex passage from John's Gospel, but I think that we can say at least that it does have a central topic, namely the union of minds, hearts, and action of the Father and the Son. We might even consider these words to be a commentary by Jesus on those two lines from the "Our Father," "may Thy kingdom come, may Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; John 5:1-16
Lent can be a very challenging time for people of faith. Many of us at this near midpoint of this season may have lost momentum and initiative to stay faithful to a promise made Ash Wednesday that this time, this year would be different. In these moments we often forget that we do nothing absent from God’s power and if we try on just our own will and power to do, say, be more faithful, better, closer to God, we will not succeed.
Isaiah 65:17-21; John 4:43-54
While the readings promise us healing in the afterlife, I wonder if the gospel is not telling us that the miracle of healing can be experienced in this life as well? Many skeptics say that miracles do not happen these days. It seems we rarely recognize the miracles around us or, when we do, we attribute them to the cleverness of man rather than the bountiful gifts of the Lord. God gave us the intellect that enables man to invent vaccines and antibiotics. He gave us our miraculous immune systems that defeat so many potential illnesses before they become manifested.