13th March – Fifth Sunday of Lent (C)

adultery womanThis Sunday we break with the gospel of Luke and take a story from the gospel of John – the woman caught in adultery. It has been selected because it deals with the theme of forgiveness. As with last Sunday’s gospel, so too here we see two different attitudes to the mercy of God. This time, however, it is not in a parable but in a real incident in which those with a narrow view of the mercy of God wish to use the misery of this woman as an opportunity for point scoring against Jesus. For the Pharisees, the scriptures are being read with a view to making them powerful as judges and experts in the Law. For Jesus, the scriptures are to be read as a way to understand the overwhelming mercy of God. In highlighting their hypocrisy, Jesus calls them to repentance. In highlighting God’s love for her, he calls the woman to a new life.