Lectionary Reflection: Fifth Sunday of Lent [c] March 13, 2016

Engaging Faith | Mon, Mar 7, 2016

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Fifth Sunday of Lent [c]

March 13, 2016


Isaiah 43:16-21

Philippians 3:8-14

John 8:1-11



March 13: Daylight Savings Time Begins in most places in the US and Canada

March 17: Feast of Saint Patrick

March 19: Earth Hour (8:30pm local time)

March 20: First Day of Spring 

March 20: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion 

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

March 22: World Water Day 



The Bible teaches that every man and woman is created out of love and made in God’s image and likeness.

-Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 65

In the New Testament, Jesus consistently reached out to those on the fringes of society, those without power or authority, those with no one to speak on their behalf. He taught that all women and men are individuals worthy of respect and dignity.

-U.S. Bishops, When I Call for Help

In proclaiming the liberation of Israel, God's word proclaims the liberation of all people from slavery.

-U.S. Bishops, Brothers and Sisters To Us

Christ's way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.

-John Paul II, Mulieres Dignitatem, 15

The world is complex and this may often tempt us to seek simple and self-centered solutions; but as a community of disciples we are called to a new hope and to a new vision that we must live without fear and without oversimplification.

-U.S. Bishops, Economic Justice for All, 326

The mindset which leaves no room for sincere concern for the environment is the same mindset which lacks concern for the inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society. For “the current model, with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favor an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak or the less talented to find opportunities in life.”

-Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 196


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Sometimes we are like the men in the gospel today who want to “throw stones” at others, especially those we don’t like or don’t approve of or find to be different. Maybe we don’t actually throw stones, but we feel like it or we do it in how we behave.  Sometimes our political or religious discourse feels like people throwing verbal stones at one another.  Sometimes it seems like we have lost our way as a people or maybe that God’s healing and reconciling spirit is asleep.

Sometimes we hear people say: “It is hopeless and difficult and it cannot be done. It will always be that way. Things cannot change.”  They might be referring to something in their personal life or they might be referring to something in their place of business or church or neighborhood or government or world.  Today there are people who look at the political realities in the United States and feel hopeless and discouraged.

Today Isaiah says that change and growth can happen. Something new can take place. 

     Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not;

     see, I am doing something new!

     Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

     In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.

In the same spirit of great optimism, Paul is “forgetting what lies behind” and “straining forward to what lies ahead,” continuing his “pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”

Aware of your past, do you find yourself feeling hopeless or do you find yourself ready to keep going forward, confident in God? As you become more aware of the “sin of the world,” are you overcome by hopelessness or are you ready to keep running forward in the power of Jesus Christ?

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, SJ, as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

Copyright © 2016 Center of Concern.