Too often we get caught up either in our past or present rather than embracing a new future. Recall the old adage ” Don’t cry over spilt milk.” Both the past and present can hold us back from a fulfilling future. Lent is about moving out of the darkness of the past and present into the light of the future. The Easter mysteries speak about walking through the darkness of a Good Friday into the light, joy and peace of an Easter Sunday. The three reading this Sunday call us to journey into a new and better future. In the first reading the prophet Isaiah hears the Lord say: “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!” Paul in the reading from Philippians counsels: “Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead. I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus .” In the beautiful Gospel passage from John, we hear Jesus call the woman caught committing adultery to the living of a new and fuller life. He raises her from the desperation of the past into a future where she will experience forgiveness, hope, peace and joy. The story describes a woman caught in adultery, being paraded before a crowd and Jesus by her accusers – not out of any sense of justice and certainly without any hint of compassion for the shamed woman- but only to trap Jesus and see if he could be discredited, imprisoned and even be put to death. This tactic backfires. Jesus reminds the accusers of their own murky pasts and their less than noble purposes. Once they slink away, Jesus says to the quivering, teary-eyed woman: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? … Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” Jesus tells the woman to let go of her past and embrace a new future. He invites her to walk out of the darkness of sin into the light of a new future of faithfulness to God. God is always calling us to a better place. He invites us to leave behind less and to choose a life of more. The invitation to all of for the remaining days of Lent is to call ourselves out of the less that we have accepted for ourselves into a graced life of more in Christ.
© 2013 Eugene S. Ostrowski