• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 15 March 2013 15:06

Fifth Sunday in Lent - Year C

Written by Fr Albano Da Costa SVD

Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21, Phil 3:8-14, John 8:1-11

Friends, how wonderful this weekend, that all of our readings look forward and speak of fresh beginnings - about not becoming imprisoned in our past, but what we could all become under God’s influence. I am sure all of us have been so moved by the simplicity and pastoral outlook of our new Pope. Friends, we have a God who makes all things new and in that we find hope. In our first reading from the book of Isaiah, this text was written at a time of the return of the Israelite exiles from their captivity in Babylon. This was the worst trauma in Jewish history. And because of the sin of the people Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple burned down and the people were carried off into exile. It was as if Yahweh had abandoned his people. And so the people saw all this as an answer to their sin. But now through Cyrus, the King of Persia who conquered the Babylonians, God was doing something new. He was bringing his people to freedom. The Lord says, ‘in the desert I will make a way, in the wasteland, I will make the rivers flow’. God was providing a way for the exiles to return home. It’s like God making a highway in the desert to allow the exiles to easily return. God will himself provide waters and rivers for them to drink as they move. God does not want his people to be in permanent exile. He does not want us to be languishing in our sin. He is a liberating God.

In our second reading we have the wonderful letter of Paul to the Philippians. Paul says, ‘I consider everything as loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’. Paul was someone who was schooled in the great Jewish tradition. He was passionate for his traditions of his ancestors. And that led him to persecute the Church. It led him to preside at the stoning of St. Stephen. It led him to ride off to Damascus in pursuit of Christians. Now Paul considers all of that as rubbish in comparison to what Christ will accomplish in him. In a way, Paul is looking forward and not back. He is not brooding over his past sins. What Paul is concerned about is what Christ will accomplish in him. For Paul it’s just one thing that matters - the prize of God’s upward calling in Christ. Friends, God is much, much, and more interested in our future than he is in our past. God is much more interested in what we might become than what we are.

Our gospel today is the story of the woman caught in adultery. Notice first, how this woman is first brought right into the heart of the temple by pious people. We see religion being used as a blunt instrument to keep people captive rather than as a means of liberation, freedom and salvation. Our solidarity with sin should awaken in us a greater compassion for each other. Jesus says to the woman ‘neither do I condemn you, go and from now on do not sin any more’. How rich is that little word ‘go’. What’s being emphasised once again is not the past but the future, re-emphasising once more, on to what lies ahead of each of us; following the upward calling in Christ and not to be obsessed with what is lying behind.

Maybe we feel terribly imprisoned by our past or something we have done that is terribly shameful binds us captive and every time we think of it we begin to bend low. Maybe someone has hurt us so terribly and we just can’t let go off the hurt which is caused by it. Maybe I have done something shameful that I am convinced that God will never forgive me. Friends, there is a way out for all of us - what we could become under God’s influence. Maybe there is misery that surrounds me but standing right in front of me is mercy and forgiveness offered in Christ. God, all people are made in your image. May the dignity with which you honour all people change us to stand tall and live the life you have given us.

Last modified on Friday, 10 May 2013 09:43