As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
There she was, scrawled on the ground before Jesus where she shoved down by her accusers. A crowd had formed, with some of the religious leaders asking whether she should be stoned or not. Jesus, seeing their hearts, is saddened by their absence of love. Cold. Self-appreciating. Arrogant. No Mercy. No understanding. Only judgment. He looks around and finds each one, stone in hand, ready to commit violence and sentence death.
“Teacher, Moses said we should stone such people. What do you say?”
Jesus remains silent, squatting down to the ground, writing in the sand.
“Well? What should we do?”
Jesus stands up, looks at each person and their stones, and says, “The one among you who has no sin may cast the first stone.”
He went back to writing in the sand. The crowd paused. Some looking incredulously at Jesus. Others weighing the stone in their hand and weighing their hearts. One by one the stones fall to the ground with a dull thud and the crowd disperses leaving only the woman and Jesus.
Each of us at times are like those in the crowd, just as ready to cast our stones at others. Stones of judgment, criticism, bitter words, retribution and hate.
Today, let us stop and ponder the stones we hold in our hands ready to throw at others, and to recall the words of Jesus.
“The one among you who has no sin … ”
This is the day’s examine, to weigh the stones we carry, those we hold at the ready to cast at others, and be ready to drop them as soon as the moment rises in our hearts.
Lord Jesus, help me to drop the stone of _____________ (whatever attitude or thought you hold against another), and turn to You, the Just Judge. Help me to recall the words of the prayer you taught us, “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …” May I be able to let the stone I hold in my hand fall to the ground, and walk away in peace. Amen.
Reflection from the Gospel of John 8:1-11
Dearest Lord Jesus,
Let me not think about the tomorrow that will never come,
nor for the yesterday that will never return.
May you always be before me, behind me, above me, below me,
encompassing me at every moment.
That I may walk always toward you, with Mary,
your mother and mine, to be my one companion.
Trust. Trust. Trust.
It is the eve of Holy Week, when our Lenten journey makes a serious plunge into the richness of tradition and prayer. What better way to unite ourselves with the Universal Church than to watch the events taking place in Rome.
You can find a schedule of the coming week’s schedule below the live cam from Saint Peter’s Square. Be sure to download the corresponding prayer guides for the various celebrations (rebroadcast links are below schedule):
Celebration Booklets will be added as they are made available below:
United in prayer in our final preparation for Easter!
Direct Links to Online Resources:
…you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light… (Romans 13:11-12, RSV).
These are the words proclaimed in the second reading this first Sunday of Advent. It can be broken down into six stand-alone statements:
- Awake from your sleep! (Ready yourself – the time for resting is over)
- Salvation is near. (The beginnings of salvation – at baptism – is behind you; it is closer at hand than when you began)
- The night is gone. (The time for sleeping – the night, normally – is no more. The night is also traditionally a time for no-good-doers to come out to do their no-good-deeds. Without the night, their efforts are a lot more difficult)
- The day is at hand. (The day is traditionally a time for hard work. Each day is new, and is like a new beginning)
- Cast off the works of darkness. (In the Eastern Rites, the one to be baptized turns from the west (the setting sun) to the east (the rising sun – a symbol of Christ). This turning is a symbolic turning from evil/darkness to the goodness/light of Christ.
- Put on the armor of light. (Get ready for battle)
For each of these statements, you may want to consider them as small admonitions from Saint Paul to you. We may hear him urging us, shaking us out of our complacency to an attitude of vigilance.
Are you vigilant in your prayer life? Advent is a time to take stock of our spiritual life, to move from our lethargy to actively engaging in conversation with God. It is human nature to think there is endless time. We put things off, and yet we are called in the reading of Saint Paul to the Romans to be ready.
Are you ready for the Day that Comes? Put on your armor of God’s light! The time is now.
For some wonderful insights:
A Recipe for Readiness, by Msgr. Charles Pope
Pope Francis calls us to ‘Enlarge our Horizons’
Bishop Barron discusses ‘The Mountain of the Lord’
May your Advent be blessed!