Peace and all Good!
In this famous scene from John’s Gospel today, a woman caught in adultery is dragged to Jesus. The Pharisees were not interested in Jesus’ great learning! They wanted him to come down for or against the law, either way trapping him by his response. If Jesus chose the law, the memory of that horrific stoning would stay with his disciples forever. If he chose against the law, people would say that he is soft on sin. Of course, Jesus finds a third way to answer. Instead of dismissing the woman’s sin, he holds a mirror to their faces, hoping that they see themselves as sinners and thus have more compassion for others. And it worked. Each of the Pharisees winds up leaving quietly. Then he turns to the woman and gives her those beautiful words, “Neither do I condemn you.” He says the same to each of us!
Beginning next week on Palm Sunday, we enter into the most sacred time of the Church Year—Holy Week. The procession celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem overflowed with praise and excitement as the people waved palm branches—the ancient symbol of victory and hope. But, a week later they will change “Hosanna!” for “Crucify him!” Jesus did not fulfill their expectations of liberating them from Roman oppression. He is indeed a liberator, from death and sin, not from Rome! As we enter Holy Week next Sunday, I pray that we can come to all of the great celebrations of our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection and let God be God and to trust God’s wisdom not only to meet but to shatter our expectations!
This Friday, I invite all of us to take part in our annual Multicultural Stations of the Cross. This is always a very moving experience for us as a parish of many ethnicities and backgrounds. Please see the bulletin for more details.
As I close this letter, I am still reveling at the outpouring of affection and support on the occasion of my 75th birthday celebration on April 1st! Yes, that is the actual date. No fooling! I wish to thank all of you for the many cards and gifts and well wishes and for coming to that absolutely over the top fun party! All of you are truly a blessing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! — Fr. Vince