Sunday, March 13, 2016

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the week: “If and when were planted. Nothing grew.” — Turkish saying.

(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Masses: In these Masses, Cycle A readings are proclaimed and the Scrutinies are celebrated. Lazarus is raised from the dead. With Martha, we are all invited to know Jesus the Christ who is the Resurrection and the life!)

In the Cycle C Readings, the Psalm refrain today simply says: “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”

This refrain is clearly echoed in each of the readings. Isaiah is able to think back to Moses’ and the Israelites’ incredible escape from slavery as God led them through the desert and through the waters: “See I am doing something new!”

Paul speaks of the great things God has done for him in Christ Jesus: “For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”

But could we ever imagine that the woman caught in adultery would walk out of the temple area having been freed by Jesus? “Has no one condemned you?”

She replied: “No one.”

The Pharisees were using her as a pawn in an effort to capture Jesus in their “inescapable trap.” Jesus would either stand for the law of Moses, in which case all of his preaching about mercy and forgiveness would pretty much be a sham. Or he would stand on his preaching about mercy and forgiveness and in doing so would negate the law of Moses.

Finally, they had him! But Jesus, as always, went deeper. He offered the woman forgiveness and mercy. He challenged all not to judge. He demonstrated simply that all were sinners and in need of God’s mercy. He invited all to see how mercy and forgiveness — not judgment and condemnation — change people’s lives.

We have almost completed our Lent. Only Palm Sunday separates us from today and Easter.

How have we grown? How have we changed? Did we experience God’s mercy and forgiveness in any noticeable way this Lent? Were we a little less judgmental of others this Lent?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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