Sunday, April 7, 2019

Picking Olives and Hearts

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent - we hear the story about the woman accused of adultery - alternately - for those attending Holy Mass where the Third Scrutiny is being celebrated - the story of Lazarus - his death - being raised by Jesus to New Life. In the Cycle C Scripture Jesus is presented with a woman caught in adultery - condemned to death by stoning - the question presented to Him by the Scribes and Pharisees at the Mount of Olives - questioning the validity of the Law of Moses in such matters.  Thorny question - tell the people that Moses was wrong - stone a person to death for failing to live up to her potential as a person - what to do.  Do nothing - do something - take control of the situation by turning the answer back to those seeking to trap Him - let them - the one without sin cast the first stone - then the remainder may follow suit. Everyone walks away - no one has the guts to think they are without sin - Jesus - forgives - admonishes her to go - a changed person.  I have been privileged to visit the Mount of Olives on three occasions - each visit different - each experience special - each time a fresh opportunity to touch the Divine. From the Mount of Olives a clear view of the Kidron Valley - The Old City Wall of The City of David - the burial sites of the faithful - a proposed path that Jesus Himself might have walked on that fateful evening of The Last Supper - a shortcut that He may have taken on His way to Bethany - the site of Lazarus' burial. 

In the celebration of this Third Scrutiny - the focus on New Life - New Life granted through the celebration of Baptism - Confirmation - Holy Eucharist - New Life celebrated in the act of forgiveness - reconciliation - making oneself right with themselves - others - God.  In granting His forgiveness to the woman - in raising Lazarus from the dead - in our own reconciliation with Jesus - through the Sacrament of Confession - all of us given the opportunity of the GIFT of NEW LIFE.  Lent is not over yet - there are still many days in which we may make things right - amend our ways - put ourselves back on the path to God.  In Lent we pick olives - new hearts - new ways - your choice.

Deacon Dale