Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Remembering to Forget


Yahweh invites His people to let go of the past and look forward in hope. Paul speaks of what makes him let go and press forward: Christ. Jesus releases the woman caught in adultery into the freedom of a child of God.


To let go of something, one must possess it first. To forget, one must remember first. Jesus lets the woman go from her burdensome past into the liberating freedom to live her life differently. He does so, precisely because her entire life has been so darkened by her humiliating past, a memory forced on her by society, giving her no freedom to break free. Jesus gives her a future. However, the crowd who brought her had no consciousness of their sinful past. Hence, Jesus gently nudges them to remember their own stories. He doesn’t do so to chain them to their past, but to make them realize their kinship with the woman, own up their past, and then let it go, embracing the freedom he was offering them as well.


Place your hurting memories at the feet of the Lord and pray for healing.


Identify a person whom you have chained with unforgiveness. Today, free that person (and yourself) from the burdening past. 


 Fifth Sunday of Lent (Cycle C ) - "Woman, has no one condemned you?"

In today's Gospel Jesus saves the adulterous woman from the death sentence. The words Jesus uses are words of love and mercy, words that invite us to conversion". God is a merciful Father, he is always patient with us, he is never tired of forgiving. (Pope Francis).

Luke wanted to teach us with the parable of the Prodigal Son last Sunday, St. John relates it this day with a fact: the forgiveness of the adulterous woman, putting mercy before sacrifice, forgiveness before judgement, grace before justice, love before the law. The adulterous woman was to be stoned to death, according to the law. The scribes and Pharisees were firmly in favour of her condemnation, of death, of strict compliance with the law. But Jesus decidedly opted for forgiveness because he had come to speak words not of death, but of life.

We are all easy to condemn others. We forget the words of Jesus who told us: "Judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned, with the same measure you measure you will be measured". We may not think we have stones in our hands, but if we are honest, we can recognise the ones we keep in our pockets. Our antipathy, jealousy, envy...those feelings that lead us to judge others and to put them down. Jesus is patient with our hardness of heart. What bothers them about this woman? What are they hiding with their judgement? When I criticise and point at others, what is it that irritates me? What do I reject about myself? When we feel misunderstood, let us not forget that God is our friend, and that He understands our weaknesses, our sins, and that we can always hope in His great mercy towards us. And that just as the sinful woman felt dignified and new, loved by God, He does not want the sinner to die but to be converted and to live.

Prayer: The Lord is always merciful to us. Today we can pray to ask the Lord for forgiveness for the many times we become judges of others.

(Psalm 125 ) The Lord has been great with us and we are joyful.



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