The reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah is a reminder to the faithful that they should not just be looking at what God has done, but also an invitation to realize that God is still very active in their lives and will continue to be active. The Responsorial Psalm invites us to rejoice for all the good things the Lord is doing even right now. In the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, he understands that he has come a long way in his faith journey and that he still needs to go further to grow. In the Gospel, Jesus narrates the story of the woman caught in adultery. Pondering the readings for this Sunday lead me to ask some questions about how we as Christians look at the things that are happening around us or even how do we look on to others? And even these readings would also help us to examine if we are always looking at the past? Looking backward? Or do we look at what lies ahead for the future?
As I ponder deeply about the readings for today, it touched me on how Paul reflected on his journey of faith. He acknowledged the importance of what God does to him and how He walks with him. And realized his being self-righteous and law-abiding, in the end, he discovered that his former actions were insignificant compared to the fullness of life that he received when he accepted the gift of salvation that the Lord Jesus has prepared through His death and resurrection.
As I looked into my journey of faith and vocation, I have been struck that at some point in my life, I was like St. Paul. I was like the righteous elders in the reading. But today, my life experiences, this Season of Lent invited me to live my life of faith better, to be more Christ-like individual. That is, capable of gazing at people’s lives, especially the ones who are in misery and need a helping hand. Giving them a merciful and compassionate look.
My dear fellow pilgrims in this journey of faith, at the same time, on this season of lent, let us all beg the Lord to grant us a merciful and compassionate eye like Him, who will not condemn others because of their past instead will be kind and empathetic. To feel how others’, feel and not be righteous before others and before God. When Jesus said; “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” In response, they went one by one beginning with the elders. So, Jesus was left alone with the woman because we are all the same, we are all sinners like the woman in today’s Gospel. When we sinned, the Lord continues to show His mercy and compassion to us, but let us not take advantage of the goodness and mercy of God. Let us strive to live in His grace and be His instrument of mercy and compassion. Let me end this reflection with this short prayer: “Lord Jesus, help me change my perspective and keeps me moving on. Help me pursue my goal towards eternal life by being like You here on earth, in my pilgrims’ journey. Amen.”
Francisco Palau Community, Manila