Posted by: livingscripture | March 23, 2015

Fifth Monday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

 “Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.  They said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.  So what do you say?’  They said this to test Him, so that they could have some charge to bring against Him.”   

 (John 8: 3-6)   

 How should we live this Word1518b2

Those who read this Gospel passage and go beyond its familiarity are always newly amazed. This is a very powerful scene.  The woman is shamed by men who have dragged her before Jesus, the Teacher while He was teaching the crowd.  They are the scribes and Pharisees, people who cannot stand the fascination He exercises over the crowds, a fascination that is coupled with the revelation of God’s infinite tenderness and mercy for every person, whether just or a sinner.

We seem to be able to see the sinister gaze of these men who care nothing for this sinner because their only aim is to catch Jesus in a contradiction.  Jesus, in fact, was never against the Law of Moses, but neither had He closed His heart in coldness and condemnation of those who had fallen into sin.  The scribes and Pharisees only want to test Him, to put Him in an uncomfortable position, in difficulty so that they could openly condemn Him before all the people.

We are well acquainted with what happens next in all its marvelous beauty that touches our mind, heart, and entire being. However, we will pause here to reflect on how envy and jealousy bring us onto evil paths.  How hard the heart can become toward those who are the object of praise because they succeed better in various ways, whether at work or in the arts or even in the apostolate.  The question addressed to Jesus is insidious, “So what do you say?”  Here erupts all the perfidy of those who, stone by stone, built the tomb where Jesus was laid.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me discern what lies in my depths.  Do I envy others, seek to accuse them, to diminish them because they are better than I or succeed more?  I will beg Jesus to remove these feelings from me.

Lord, help me to be clear about what moves me to assume certain attitudes in my rapport with others.  Let me not be overcome by feelings polluted by my ego. 

 The Voice of an anonymous writer

Those who allow the viper of envy and jealousy to penetrate them without energetically fighting against them, with the help of grace, will fall very low.  Whether others are aware of it or not, they are procuring the death of their soul.

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