Fifth Sunday of Lent
April 3, 2022
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
Dear Church Family,
We are more than halfway through Lent and I continue to reflect especially on the goodness of the Lord. The psalmist says, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.” Church Family, this is my continuous feeling as I glory in the reality that I am now celebrating my 58th anniversary as a servant-priest padre. Certainly, God has been so good to me in bestowing this wonderful blessing upon me, so I give Him all the thanks and praise! With the prophet Isaiah I think of all the blessings I’ve received and now I can hopefully be able to share those blessing with others.
In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah talks about the good blessings and the passage through the Red Sea. He speaks of how the Lord protected him and he then says, “I am going to do something new and I will continue to pour forth blessings for you.” One blessing that we are going to celebrate and receive as a gift today is the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). God, the Father, is coming to help us today. We will pause after the homily and just celebrate this great sacrament of the Lord healing us. We will continue to pray throughout the week as we anoint so many of you that this anointing and healing will come upon you as you continue on your Lenten journey.
One of my favorite passages of the Scriptures is in Philippians where it says, “I wish to know Jesus and the power of His Resurrection and even though I have to share in His Sufferings and be conformed to His Death, I will give the victory of resurrection.” I continue to have this with me always and I have this as a prize in my future life as you do, also.
We then come and hear this sad but hopeful story about Jesus and the woman taken into adultery and He is challenged to totally forgive her. In reading this gospel, it came to me that the Lord is just so good and forgiving. Above anything else what He wants to do is totally forgive—not look back on our past sins and misdeeds, just totally love and forgive us. We can’t and don’t want to stop Jesus’ love from coming to us. We just can’t stop it!!
This is like when it is raining and we want to do something or go someplace. Can we stop the rain? It’s no way, once it starts, we can’t stop it. In the same way, We just can’t stop Jesus from loving us! Just as Jesus showed love to this woman who had sinned and to countless other people who weren’t or aren’t living right, still Jesus is going to love them and us. So we just celebrate that and become more and more aware that this is our lot that we have all the blessings we can possibly have. We have God’s forgiveness totally and we are like the humble woman in the story, not greatly respected because of her accused sins and yet Jesus loves her, gets her off the hook, and challenges all the men and everyone else there to be merciful as He is merciful. Let us pray: Thank you Lord, for giving us this good mercy of hope as we are called on our journey to know Jesus Christ and His power of resurrection. Amen!
Love, Father Bob