Saturday, March 12, 2016
5th SUNDAY OF LENT
13 March 2016
5th SUNDAY OF LENT
Is 43:16 – 21 / Phil 3:8 – 14 / Jn 8:1 – 11
From the 2nd Reading: Phil 3: 8 - 11
Still more, everything seems to me as nothing compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake I have let everything fall away and I now consider them as garbage, if instead I may gain Christ. May I be found in him, without merit or holiness of my own of having fulfilled the Law, but with the holiness which comes from faith in Christ, the holiness given by God which depends on faith in Christ Jesus.
May I know him and experience the power of his resurrection, and share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, and attain through this, God willing, the resurrection from the dead!
Gospel Reading: Jn 8: 1 – 11
As for Jesus, he went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak Jesus appeared in the Temple again. All the people came to him, and he sat down and began to teach them.
Then the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They made her stand in front of everyone. "Master," they said, "this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now the Law of Moses orders that such women be stoned to death; but you, what do you say?" They said this to test Jesus, in order to have some charge against him.
Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. And as they continued to ask him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who has no sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And he bent down again, writing on the ground.
As a result of these words, they went away one by one starting with the elders, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him, Then Jesus stood up and said to her "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She replied, "No one." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go away and do not sin again."
Because of St. Paul's surpassing knowledge of Christ, he came to rate all as loss. Paul's personal relationship with Christ changed the ratings of his life. Things he used to rate high were re-assessed as worthless and empty.
All of us have a "surpassing knowledge": usually our knowledge of and attraction to pleasure surpass all else. For many, even Christians, food, entertainment, TV programs, money and lifestyle rate the highest. These surpass everything else.
Eventually we experience a surpassing knowledge of tragedy and/or death. This changes our ratings. In the face of death, we now rate as loss those things for which we formerly lived for. We feel so empty and regret that we have wasted our lives. We feel condemned by the vain and empty promises of our past life.
However, the surpassing knowledge of tragedy and/or death, which surpassed our preoccupation with pleasure, can itself be surpassed by a personal knowledge of Jesus. When we totally give our lives to Jesus, we no longer stand condemned by the empty priorities of our past. These vanities and all regrets all disappear. We give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead. Life in Christ is not merely meaningless stimulation but real excitement. Because of our knowledge of Jesus, life is a race, not a drag: live in the light of a surpassing knowledge of Jesus.
In two weeks we will celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead. To share in his resurrection we must "share in his sufferings and become like him in his death." (Phil 3: 10) "This statement is true: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him. If we endure with him, we shall reign with him." (2 Tim 2: 11-12a) The cross is the only way of resurrection from the dead.
Paul's prayer to know how to share in the sufferings of Christ is rarely prayed. Only those deeply in love with Christ are open to this prayer. To pray for suffering, love must be more important to us than self. We must love Jesus so much we prefer to suffer with him rather than to enjoy ourselves without him. Because of love, we consider Jesus more important to us than pleasure and we even value suffering insofar as it is in union with Christ.
On Palm Sunday and Good Friday we will read about the passion and death of Christ. On Good Friday we will venerate the Cross as our salvation. Especially during these last days of Lent we will contemplate our Lord's love for us in the Stations of the Cross. We pray that, impelled by this love, we are able to take up our daily crosses in suffering with Christ. Dying to ourselves and with Jesus, we hope to rise to live in the Lord's love forever,
We naturally wish a life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain, staying in our comfort zones. As we enter more deeply into our Lord's passion and death, the Lord calls us to lives of maximum holiness and minimum selfishness. The Lord calls us out of our comfort zones of pleasure and sin into the "love zone" at the foot of the cross. By God's grace, let us make the way of the cross our way of life.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Ernestine G. Lim
Nixon Troy D. Villanueva
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Dionesia Luy Yu
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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