Lenten Weekly Reflection for April 7, Fifth Sunday of Lent

April 1, 2019
by 
Pascal André Charlebois, Development and Peace Animator for Eastern Quebec
Hamda, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon

Solidarity Sunday

Gospel: John 8:1-11

A realm of justice and peace

In John’s Gospel episode about the adulteress (John 8:1-11), Jesus’ response to those who would have her stoned reveal God's mercy. Jesus does not seek to embarrass the accusers or to accuse the adulteress. Instead, he makes the accusers aware that they have often sung to the goodness of God, cried out for His mercy and experienced His forgiveness.  Jesus does not judge the woman. He accepts her as she is. He recognizes her dignity, reintegrates her into society and lifts her up. He invites her to seek a fresh start and to look to the future with confidence. The outlook that Jesus reveals about the woman and her accusers is the same vision of mercy that God has for each and every one of us. We are invited to adopt this outlook with those whose behaviour we might be tempted to judge. Taste the joy of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation. They are the Good News for one and all!

The teachings of Jesus invite us to be merciful to those sisters and brothers who have been forced to flee their homes due to circumstances beyond their control. We can show compassion, overcome our fear of foreigners and withhold judgement. We can discover the human face of migration by reaching out to meet migrants. We can learn their stories and share their journey. In reaching out, we create living connections. We can, together, write a story woven in solidarity. By doing so, we will nurture our commitment to transform our world into a realm of justice and peace. Through such encounters, we will discover the presence of Jesus Christ in our midst.  Jesus, who is a migrant among migrants; a refugee among refugees; who is homeless among the homeless.

In Lebanon, House of Peace, an organization supported by Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, develops links between Syrian refugees and the communities that host them. This organization, in which women play a major role, works to build lasting peace between Lebanese and Syrians through workshops where they learn the skills needed to establish projects promoting reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between their communities. In this way, social tensions are eased. This is a wonderful example of living together made possible thanks to our donations made to Development and Peace as part of the Share Lent campaign.

To learn more about House of Peace and their work, read Hamda's story, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, and watch our testimonial video.


New for our 2019 Share Lent campaign, we are offering six weekly reflections that connect the proposed Gospel readings for the Sunday liturgy with our campaign theme. They will be published every Monday on our website or are accessible in the Resources sectionShare the Journey with us!

 

 

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For families with young children, we invite you to discover the weekly Gospel reflections of the 2019 Family Bulletin. Each reflection is accompanied by an illustration. Click on the image to download the illustration and reflection for this Sunday.

Download the 2019 Family Bulletin Download the image.

Download the 2019 Family Bulletin Download the 2019 Family Bulletin.