April 6 & 7, 2019 - 5th Sunday of Lent

The Road Home

This is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. It is late in our time of repentance. Yet, God is the eternal NOW, ever present to us, ever eager to share His divine holiness. Through the prophet, Isaiah, the Lord tells us: “See, I am doing something new.” We are this “something new.” The intimacy we enjoy with God is truly indescribable. All we need do as our part of the covenant is live it, daily. It is as simple, and as immediate, as this.

            But we hesitate. What might be the obstacle? We are reluctant. Have we not received the message? Once again, our Scriptures for this Fifth Sunday are so invitingly positive. In the Isaiah reading God appears as delighted, joyously providing all that is needed for us to grow in a life of holiness.

            We are aware of this. We have a hunger inside of us, a hunger, a thirst, that only God can sate. We don’t need to waste our energy searching somewhere else. God is in our midst. In his letter, Paul tells us he “has been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.” It is a unique and awesome realization. It has to be our desire that we have this identical openness to Jesus, disposed to his reaching so deeply inside of us. We don’t need to hide. We don’t want to hide from this fullness.

            In John’s Gospel for this day, we are privileged to witness the gentleness of a forgiving Jesus. This woman who has been unfaithful, and is now terrified for her life, stands or kneels, humiliated in the presence of Jesus. Can we imagine this scene? Jesus, in turn, gazes at her with love. This is the character of our crucified, risen, Jesus Christ. You see, our Lenten period of penance becomes complete as we surrender, to be possessed by our redeeming Jesus Christ.

 

Fr. Jim