Monday of the Fifth Week in Lent
(Daniel 13:1-9.15-17.19-30.33-62; John 8:12-20)
Law and order advocates believe that stricter laws, tougher judges, and more prisons are the best ways to remedy crime. They would praise the sagacity of Daniel in the first reading today. He ferrets out two culprits willing to see an innocent woman stoned to cover up their lust. However, hardliners are not likely to approve of Jesus’ more daring way to bring about justice.
In the Gospel of John Jesus repeatedly announces that he has not come to judge the world. His judgment would not be defective, but neither would it would produce good people. It would only condemn everyone. But God loves the world and does not want anyone condemned. He sends Jesus to save the world by offering himself at the appointed time. Jesus will turn human hearts to goodness by graciously allowing himself to be crucified. Those who believe that Jesus’ sacrifice demonstrates God’s love will have eternal life. Those who deride such sacrifice are doomed to darkness.
We have entered into what used to be called Passiontide when all images were covered in Catholic churches. Our minds and hearts are to focus on Jesus supreme sacrifice. Once again, he gives himself willingly to be tortured, reviled, and killed so that we might be justified.