A homily on the 5th Sunday of Lent (Year C)
It was during our baptism that we made a first covenant with God. Through the faith of our parents and godparents we promised God to detest evil and do the good and in return God promised to be our protector and providence.
To put ourselves into perspective, covenants are usually made between 2 nations: one weak and one strong. The weak nation promises to serve the strong nation, while the strong nation promises to protect the weak nation from other strong nations. This is so with our God. We promised to serve him in turn He promised to protect us.
And what would happen when a weak nation does not do as she promised? the strong nation would destroy the weak nation, as in obliterate them – to erase them from the face of the earth. But this is not so with God, for our God is a God of Mercy and Compassion. He will not destroy us but rather forgives us.
And that is what we hear in our Gospel today. Indeed he expressed his power by defeating the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. And we could see in the Gospel that his power is not a power that obliterates but rather is power that loves, that shows mercy. He does not care of the sins the woman committed but he cares for the person – the object of his love and mercy.
Christianity s not only about laws, things to do, and things not to do. But first and most important of all, Christianity is about relationships. It is our relationship with the world, with ourselves, with others and most especially God. It is not centered in laws and actions but it is centered in relationships. And the very center of relationships are persons – and the very center of which is “the Person” – God.
But does that mean we tolerate the sins of the person? Does that mean we close an eye to every sin we see? NO!
Indeed, Jesus did not condemn the woman, however, he commanded her not to sin anymore. Because sin degrades a person. It is an obstacle of our being a human person. Every time we sin, we are not trying to be persons. Lying is unbecoming of a person. Stealing is unbecoming of a person… so is killing, etc… Not to sin any anymore is a command to become real persons. Because a real person is one who is truthful, protects life, who loves God through loving his neighbor. A true and real person is… God-like because we are created in his image and his likeness.