First Reading: Is. 43: 16-21
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 126: 1-6
Second Reading: Phil. 3: 8-14
Gospel: Jn. 8: 1-11
Possibly one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings is the desire and the ability to begin again. Each year, each Lent, each morning, even several times a day, we can begin again. In today’s reading from Philippians, we are encouraged, like Paul, to forget “what lies behind” and “forward to what lies ahead.” In the gospel, Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery and all of us to “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation and at every Eucharistic liturgy, we repent of our sins and failures and resolve to begin again. Of course, we know that we cannot start over and live our lives after the pattern of Jesus, all on our own. We need the grace of God, the prayers of the community and the love and support of others. The Spirit of God will make the changes in us that we desire, if we are humble, open and patient. It will be gradual and we will have to begin again over and over. But, we believe, in the words of Isaiah, that our all-knowing and gracious God is “doing something new!” If we are still enough, if we pause and reflect, we may be able to “perceive it.”
Thank you, God of newness, for all of the opportunities you give us to begin again. You call us, lead us and guide us to new life. You open doors and windows of freshness for us. You offer changes and challenges that will lead to growth if we embrace them. Thank you for your presence with us and your grace as we adjust to the “something new” that you are doing in us and in our world. As we seek new beginnings for ourselves, help us to be patient with and forgiving of the failures of others. May we realize that none of us is finished yet. We are all together on the journey to wholeness and love. Give us the courage to step out into the unknown, holding tightly to our faith and hope in you. Help us to strain forward to something new. Amen.
Maureen Irvin, OSF