Connecting the dots on the Fifth week of Lent:
+ Following our family’s life-changing, momentous events of 2012 (a Master’s graduation, two daughters’ weddings six week apart, the announcement and birth of twin grandchildren) –Michael and I acknowledge that we’ve been operating on survival/recovery mode for months. But our life is shifting again, and as Lent progresses, we’ve been preparing our home and ourselves—physically, mentally and emotionally—to welcome back to Oklahoma our son Christopher and his wife Mary, parents of Elenita and the Twinkies, Cecilia and Ignacio.
We spent much of this weekend physically moving things around our house, making space, and discussing with one another the wondrous things God continues to bring about in our lives! God’s attention to detail to the needs of our hearts never ceases to amaze me. So be on the lookout for it today, and let me know what details you see God doing in your life? We gift one another in the sharing.
+ At Mass yesterday, our remarkable pastor shared with us an unusual and, to me, very provoking response to this Sunday’s Gospel, the adulterous woman whom Jesus saves from being stoned to death:
"I have always disliked this Gospel story. I don’t like the thought of that woman standing there in her shame in front of a bunch of haughty accusers pointing at her, threatening her, and challenging Jesus. It is just an ugly scene, an ugly thought, a sad moment that really only resolves kindly for that woman. The rest of us are left standing there looking down.
I don’t like the fact that she is being used. This is not about her, and it is not about adultery. It is about those scribes and pharisees with all their self-righteous moral superiority using that woman to trap Jesus and prove themselves so law abiding and innocent. I just don’t like it when people get used by other people to make themselves look good. It happens all the time, because people who want to look good are not good, or at least do not feel good about themselves, so they have to use someone else or tear them down with their accusations, gossip, or whispered stories that may or may not be true.
I don’t like the fact that she is there alone. It takes two to commit that sin. Where is that guy? Did he slip away in the confusion of being caught? In that culture, according to the Book of Deuteronomy (22,22) which those scribes and pharisees knew very well, both were to be killed. They are not enforcing the law. Maybe the husband set the trap knowing that she would be killed. Perhaps some enemies of his set the trap in order to shame him. It is impossible to decide but the embarrassment of the situation is surpassed only by the malice of setting the trap to catch the partners in the act. There is ugly malice here, and it isn’t adultery."
Fr. Tom Boyer and his insightful homilies frequently bless me. Check out the rest of this one by clicking on “homilies” under “liturgy” at our parish’s website.
+ I continue to be touched by the genuine simplicity and candid tales of our new Holy Father, el Papa Francisco, who loves to speak without a prepared text. After celebrating Mass at St. Anne’s, the parish church of Vatican City, and greeting parishioners at the church door like any other parish priest!—here’s what he had to say about mercy and this Gospel at his first Angelus yesterday:
"[This story] captures Jesus' attitude: we do not hear words of contempt, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion. 'Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!' Well, brothers and sisters! God's face is that of a merciful father who is always patient.
Have you thought about God's patience, the patience that He has with each of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, is always patient with us, understanding us, awaiting us, never tiring of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart.”