April 7th, 2019 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
Gospel: John 8:1-11
In the Gospel episode about the adulteress (John 8:1-11), Jesus’ response to those who would have her stoned reveal God’s mercy. Jesus does not seek to embarrass the accusers or to accuse the adulteress. Instead, he makes the accusers aware that they have often sung to the goodness of God, cried out for His mercy and experienced His forgiveness. Jesus does not judge the woman. He accepts her as she is. He recognizes her dignity, reintegrates her into society and lifts her up. He invites her to seek a fresh start and to look to the future with confidence. The outlook that Jesus reveals about the woman and her accusers is the same vision of mercy that God has for each and every one of us. We are invited to adopt this outlook with those whose behaviour we might be tempted to judge. Taste the joy of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation. They are the Good News for one and all!
The teachings of Jesus invite us to be merciful to those sisters and brothers who have been forced to flee their homes due to circumstances beyond their control. We can show compassion, overcome our fear of foreigners and withhold judgement. We can discover the human face of migration by reaching out to meet migrants. We can learn their stories and share their journey. In reaching out, we create living connections. We can, together, write a story woven in solidarity. By doing so, we will nurture our commitment to transform our world into a realm of justice and peace.
Through such encounters, we will discover the presence of Jesus Christ in our midst. Jesus, who is a migrant among migrants; a refugee among refugees; who is homeless among the homeless. In Lebanon, House of Peace, an organization supported by Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, develops links between Syrian refugees and the communities that host them. This organization, in which women play a major role, works to build lasting peace between Lebanese and Syrians through workshops where they learn the skills needed to establish projects promoting reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between their communities. In this way, social tensions are eased. This is a wonderful example of living together made possible thanks to our donations made to Development and Peace as part of the Share Lent campaign.
Hamda, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, participated in a House of Peace workshop.
To learn more, visit: devp.org/en/sharelent2019/testimonials/hamda
Author: Pascal André Charlebois, Development and Peace Animator for Eastern Quebec