Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

April 3, 2022
Saint Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126:1-2,2-3, 4-5, 6
Philippians 3:8-14
John 8:1-11

Today’s reading from the Gospel of John begins with Jesus returning from the Mount of Olives, the place where He will go on to undergo the agony in the garden. The scribes and Pharisees drag a woman caught in adultery before Him. In the case of women, the Law prescribed the death penalty for the sin of adultery, but it is not clear as to what was the prescribed punishment for adultery in the case of men. These leaders were trying to find a way to trap and condemn Jesus, and this situation looked to be an opportunity for them to execute their plan. Stoning the woman would violate Roman law and releasing her would oppose the Law of Moses. If Jesus were to respond in either way, His words and action would be instrumental to their plotting to cancel out Jesus’ credibility even to the point of killing Him.

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