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REFLECTION CAPSULE: Dan 13:41-62 and Jn 8:1-11 – Monday, 5th Week of Lent

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY

“With faith, picking up the broken pieces of our life, filling the spaces in our emptiness with His love and being ready to start, all over again, in hope!”

(Based on Dan 13:41-62 and Jn 8:1-11 – 5th Week of Lent)

“Let me start again
… pick the pieces of my brokenness
Fill the spaces in my emptiness
… Let me start again”
This a beautiful hymn that echoes the sentiments and feelings of a person who has suffered much and is yet ready to start life all over again.

Life sometimes can crush us really hard…
Life sometimes can wreck us really miserably…

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful testimony of a person who…
… found herself at the lowest ebbs of her life
… when everything seemed all over
… in total tatters and brokenness

Yet…
… was able to pick up the broken pieces of her life
… fill the spaces in her emptiness
… and start it all over again
All by the grace and power of the Lord, who intervened, and instilled a new hope and zeal in her.

The incident in focus is the ‘infamous’ occurrence of the woman who was “caught” in adultery.
>> This is the story of a tragic failure in life.
>> This is the story of immense shame in life.
>> This is the story of generous grace in life.

There are so many many things to be pondered and reflected on, through this incident…

Think of the “mean” and “disgraceful” attitude of the people who “caught” this woman “in the act” (Jn 8:3)
… Were they fitted with “special probing and lusty” eyes, that devilishly gazed into “intimate exchanges”, that too on an early morning?

Think of the “self-appointed” role of these “moralists” who sought to restore the innocence of the land, without realising that, perhaps, their own eyes were filled with lust, their hearts drenched in obscenity and their lives soaked in vulgarity.
… How was it that their “clean” consciences and “true” intentions caught hold of only the woman, “caught in the act”, whereas, the man involved, was left, scot-free?

Think of the “deadly” trap that they were laying before the Lord, in seeking to find his opinion on the accused woman
… How neatly they had trapped the Lord in a “most vicious” dilemma:
>> If the Lord permitted death, it would be going against the Law of the land – of the Romans – since only the Romans were permitted to take the life of a person
>> If the Lord did not allow to stone, He would be going against the Law of the Lord, which had ordered the stoning of the convicted adulterer to death.

>> If the Lord permitted killing, He would be going against His own teaching of mercy, and His fundamental mission of “coming to seek and save the lost”
>> If the Lord forgave her, He would be going against the principle of Justice, and that would be infringing the rights and duties of a Just God.

It was a near-perfect scene, for the religious leaders to dreadfully trap the Lord.
>> The woman had been caught “in the act” of adultery…
>> Jesus was now to be trapped “in the act” of breaking the Law…

The woman had been shamefully paraded and stripped of all her dignity…
>> Jesus was now to be gloriously humiliated and disrobed of His glory and majesty…

But all these were “mere” human thinking and wile wishes…
>> The wisdom of God is much greater than all human craftiness and cunningness
>> The mercy of the Lord extends much beyond all human wickedness and maliciousness.

In their wickedness, they failed to see, that they were testing the law with the Law-Giver Himself!

And so, the Benevolent Law-giver, bent down, and wrote with His finger… (Jn 8:6)
… just as He had, centuries back, written the Law on the tablet and given to Moses: “… tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God Himself” (Ex 32:16)

He wrote, not a new law, but He wrote to make the law perfectly understood..
>> He wrote, not a new commandment, but He wrote to make understand the true spirit of the commandment…
“Let the one who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7)

This statement shattered all those accusers who heard it!
>> Those who came to cast the stone had themselves stoned brutally, by the guilt of their sin!
>> Those who came to enjoy parading the nakedness of the woman, themselves were stripped naked, by their sin and shame!

Justice had triumphed!
>> Mercy had excelled!
>> Love had won!

All had left, save the one accused and the One who was Love and Compassion!
>> The one accused, stood in fear and trembling before the One who recreates and renews!

And so she was given another chance…
…. to pick up the broken pieces of her life
… and to start anew!

In the book of Daniel, the innocent lady, Susanna would undergo a similar experience…
… of being condemned and doomed to death!
>> But the Wisdom of the Lord would shine through the young boy Daniel…
… and innocent life was saved!

Susanna trusted in the mighty Providence of God…
… and her hopes would not be disappointed; she would not be left in desolation.

These are times when our world is going through immense difficulty
>> With hope, let us renew our love and faith in the Lord…
… trusting that the Mighty Hand of the Lord will deliver us from every “hopeless and fearful” situation!
Yes, life may very often reduce us also to the same state as this one who was accused.

We may find ourselves crushed….broken…accused… abandoned…shamed!
>> But the Lord, still gives us a chance….

Shall we not…
…. pick up the broken pieces of our life…
… fill the spaces in our emptiness…
… and start it, all over again?

God Bless! Live Jesus!
– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India
——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise!

God, Whose you are, will deliver you out of them.
>> He is your keeper.
>> He has kept you hitherto.
>> Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all things…
… and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms!”

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