April 3, 2022 - The Fifth Sunday of Lent
“The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”
Gospel according to John 8:1-11
by Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer, OSB
We are over half way to Easter! That is good news, but also a reminder that we need to review how we are doing or not doing our Lenten practices. Are we truly seeing changes in ourselves? There is more good news! We still have time to renew our efforts to “have something above the assigned measure to offer God…” (RB 49: 6) at Easter.
In the first reading, from the prophet Isaiah, we read these encouraging words from the Lord, “See, I am doing something new!” God gives us abundant graces for making changes in our lives, to make our lives new and renewed. Changes in our spiritual life can open new ways and paths of ministry and service! Changes can bring refreshment and joy by lifting the burdens of others.
Only when we have let Jesus Christ take possession of us, when we know Christ and the power of His resurrection, then something new will happen in us. We may be surprised at what we can become with Jesus at our side. We may be less judgmental, more forgiving, more open to the voice of God, more patient with others and with ourselves. We may be more open to God’s daily refreshment in the Eucharist, in the sacraments, in our sacred reading and in our prayer. We can begin anew each day.
Let us “unfurl ourselves into the grace of beginning” (To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue) as we continue on the Lenten journey. This is our call; this is our blessing. This is our joy! We can pray with the psalmist, The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“Listen carefully, and attend with the ear of your heart.” RB Prologue 1
“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.” Joel 2:12-13