Homily For 5th Sunday Of Lent, Year C

Christ Frees Us From Our Sinful Past

Rdgs: (1st: Is 43, 16-21; Ps 125; 2nd: Phil 3, 8-14; Gos: Jn 8, 1-11)

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent. Gradually, we are coming close to the end of Lent. On the other hand we are getting close to, the paschal feast. In order words, we are gradually moving away from the zone of suffering to the zone of glory and comfort. Hence, all the readings of this Sunday give us hope, and paint a picture of a very bright future for us.

In the first reading, God tells us of the new things he has started doing among us and for us. He is restoring our hope, and giving us every reason to continue living. This means that in spite of the difficulties of this present moment and season, the Lord will put a smile on our faces soon. Surely, he will do this because: “Weeping may endure at night but joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30, 5). So, there is hope because we are approaching our morning. Hence, we must be positive about the future as we approach the Paschal. This is because very soon, God is ready to fulfill his promises to us.

In our second reading, Paul tells us that he decided to count everything as a loss for the sake of Christ. This was in order to gain the future glory to be revealed in Christ. He understood the worth of the new life offered by God in Christ. He knew that: “The glory of the latter shall be greater than that of the former” (Haggai 2, 9).  Paul saw all these revealed to him. So, he remained resolute in his faith. He did this even to the point of “reproducing Christ’s death in himself. This same promise must sustain us to the end.

In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees brought an adulterous woman to Christ. They thought that Christ will condemn her immediately. They thought he will give them the permission to go ahead and stone the woman to death. However, they were wrong, because Christ came to save and not to condemn. They were wrong because the ways and thoughts of Christ are different from theirs. So, instead of condemning her, Jesus restored her life, and offered her a new chance to live. He simply told her: “Go and sin no more.”

Like this woman, Jesus is always giving us new opportunities in spite of our weaknesses. He knows how vulnerable we are to sin. He knows the forces we contend with everyday in our life and society. His mission is to save us from all our personal sins and accusations. It is not to condemn us. This is why he says: “…I have come that they may have life and have it in full” (Jn 10, 10).

Today, we should be encouraged by these words of Jesus “Neither do I condemn you.” The complete forgiveness of Christ is incredible. When he says these words to us, he means them. He means that our negative past is dead and extinguished like a candle. So Christ will always fill us with laughter and Joy. This is what he will complete for us soon through his death and resurrection.

Finally, as we approach the glorious season of Easter, the Lord equally says to us: “Go and sin no more.” This is an injunction we must believe and put in to practice. He promises us a better future and a share in his glory if we remain faithful to this command. Therefore, we must constantly run to Jesus irrespective of our situation. This is because he is ever ready to acquit us of all the charges against us. So, let us shout for joy: “What marvels the Lord worked for us, indeed we were glad!”

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!!

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