LISTEN: Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent – Year C

This Sunday’s readings talk about God’s faithfulness, and the danger of the pursuit of perfection.  Through Isaiah, God promises the Jews a second exodus, better than the first. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, warns of false teachers, and explains that perfection is not attainable except through our faith in Christ.
Our Gospel is the famous story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus calls upon those attempting to stone the woman to cast the first stone if and only if they are without sin. But, by their actions, or more accurately, their lack of action, we realise that no-one, even the most self righteous, could claim the perfection necessary.
The lesson for us today, is to avoid the temptation to imagine ourselves so morally perfect, that we confuse ourselves with God and God’s law. Indeed such obsession, with law itself, might make us not only cruel and intolerant, but idolators: placing law above God.
Join Anthony Egan SJ as he reflects on the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts:
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11.

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Image: ‘Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery’, Pieter Bruegel (1526-1569)

Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.
See more from Anthony Egan SJ
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