5th Lenten Sunday Homily

Publié le 2 Avril 2022

We are entering the 5th Sunday of Lent, and the Easter celebrations are approaching. I invite you to participate in this exceptional encounter with Jesus. In this story, we see Jesus already with a group of people who listen to Jesus, who are totally lost with the other groups of Pharisees and scribes, who were represented in the character of the elder son in last Sunday's Gospel. The path of conversion followed by the prodigal son will help us, the elder brother, to participate in the feast that awaits us.

We are with stones in our hands, directed towards others, who are this prodigal son, and the woman of today's gospel. The Lord, whom we have chosen as our judge, gives his judgement, here it is: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” So this son who refuses to enter his father's house is invited to reread his own life, to discover his own rebellion, in the face of the inexhaustible love of the Father, who is before him, begging to be with Him. It is sad that this huge crowd, which has come to listen to the Lord, decides to leave him. Fortunately, there is a pause imposed by the Lord, certainly wanted by the woman, and rejected by the crowd, to impose its rightful place, to give us a Word of hope, a new life.

This woman of the day is forced to walk a path that is beyond her in every possible way. Totally desperate, she allows herself to be led by the law and by the men of the law towards death. In silence, humiliated and annihilated by society, she will no longer justify herself. "Yes, I have sinned against God. Here she joins King David, to the publican, whom the Lord found righteous, "have mercy on me". We are called to go this way, and to pray this prayer in all sincerity. In truth, these Pharisees and scribes will judge Jesus, according to the same law of Moses, condemning Him to death. Jesus is called before this woman to choose between the law that brings us to death and the mercy that saves life. Jesus, however, refuses to comply with their request. For there is a personal relationship that God has established with each of us, through a holy covenant, and he has put all his trust in us. He tells us again today in the first reading: "This people whom I have made for myself will sing my praise. This is the divine trust. Man has lost this trust and has put God to the test.

The divine silence can disturb us, for we would like a violent God, in the image of human justice. Tell us: "yes or no".  Then God shows us another image that we are not used to. His silence, firmly rooted in the earth, makes us discover that there is a meaning in his silence that man would not want to penetrate. It is in this silence that God has chosen to speak to us.

"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She answered, "No one, Lord". This is how St Augustine presents this encounter, as an encounter of misery with mercy. She will once again allow herself to be judged by the Lord in a just manner, obviously in his mercy. We have a very beautiful answer, which God continues to give us: "Neither do I." "God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, not to judge us, but that through him the world might be saved.  What assurance and comfort!

Like the crowd that accused her, "she too is sent back to her conscience and her regenerated responsibility: it remains for her to live 'henceforth' according to the deliverance and mercy she has received. "Come to our aid, O Lord our God: grant us to walk joyfully in the love of your Son, who loved the world to the point of giving his life for it. Amen.

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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