In this reflection on the gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 8:1-11), taken from our Lent calendar, Linda from our Theology team reflects on the forgiveness and mercy of God shown in this reading.
Based on the gospel for Sunday 7 April – John 8:1-11
“’Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and don’t sin any more.’”
The story of the woman caught in adultery gives us much to think about. There are so many aspects to the narrative and each of the different characters helps us to understand something about ourselves.
Every single one of us has sinned and we know what it feels like to feel guilty and ashamed. It is hard to look others in the eye when we know we have done wrong.
We also know what it feels like to be caught out judging others when deep down we know that we too need forgiveness.
Hopefully we also know what it is like to be merciful to others, to forgive them for any hurt they have caused us.
A new start
This story places us face to face with the mercy of God. In fact, God is mercy, God is love. If we ask for forgiveness, then we can be healed, because God is infinite mercy and wisdom. Broken relationships can be mended, and we can have the chance to put things right and try again.
Lent is a season when we repent, we try to turn things around, we try to mend brokenness. Is there someone you have hurt, to whom you could say sorry? Is there someone who has hurt you, who it might now be ok to forgive?
When we reflect on our attitude towards people who are poor, as we do during Lent, we recall Pope Francis’s warning about “the globalisation of indifference”.
As one global family, we need to mend our broken relationship with those who are excluded from the good things of the earth. Do they truly matter to us, like our own family?
God, you are infinite mercy, wisdom and love. I am sorry for the times that I have taken the wrong path and hurt other people. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Lead me towards healing and rebuilding broken relationships, in my home, locally and globally. Amen.