5th Sunday in Lent

This coming Sunday marks the fifth Sunday in Lent (Year C; but if you are attending a Mass at which one of the RCIA scrutinies is celebrating, you will hear readings other readings).You can read a complete commentary on this gospel here.

The story focuses on the murderous impulse of “all the people” (v.2) when the scribes and Pharisees present “a woman who had been caught in adultery ” (v.3). The intention of the scribes and Pharisee was to simply use the woman and her circumstances “so that they could have some charge to bring against [Jesus]” (v.6) in order to fulfill their own murderous intent against Jesus (7:1). Their immediate goal is to trap Jesus between the requirements of the Law (cf. Lev 24:1-6 and Dt 13:10; 17:2-7) and his teaching of forgiveness and reconciliation. Will Jesus show himself to be a true son of Moses and do what the Law requires, i.e. agree that stoning the woman is the God-intended course of action? Will he defy the law and offer forgiveness. Continue reading

But I say to you: adultery

sermon-on-the-mountA Teaching About Adultery.  27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. Continue reading

Fulfilling the Law: teachings

beatitudes1A Teaching About Anger. As will be evident, the following comments use Boring’s model as a way to think about the text at hand.

21 “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’22 But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,24 leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.25 Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.26 Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. Continue reading