Grounded in Prayer on the Mount of Olives

Dear Parishioners,

There are many lessons we can take from Christ in this well-known scene of the woman caught in adultery from the Gospel of John.

First, leading up to this encounter, Jesus had spent the whole previous day teaching in the temple.  The day ends and our Lord's enemies "went each to his own house" (Jn 7:53).  Jesus, on the other hand, "went to the Mount of Olives" (Jn 8:1).  Jesus received his rest and his 'fuel', as it were, by praying.  Who knows how he would have reacted to this adversary had he not grounded himself the night before in prayer?

Second, Jesus does not respond immediately to the Scribes' and Pharisees' puzzle.  He writes on the ground.  This was a way of indicating, in the ancient world, one's disinterest in the topic.  It was Jesus' way of not engaging and saying, "just go away."  Our Lord is patient.  He does not act compulsively or judge hastily.

Third, our Lord does not objectify the woman.  The Pharisees don't truly care about the woman and her sin and the system of justice.  They are out to trap Jesus.  The woman is merely the opportunity; an object to use in their mission.  Our Lord respects the woman.  He merely offers a wise adage: "Let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone." Like Jesus, we should never degrade people to satisfy ourselves.

There are many more lessons to glean from these readings.  Perhaps you can pray with it this week as we approach the high point of the liturgical year.

Again, this Saturday, April 6th from 10am to 2pm in the church is the Dynamic Catholic Marriage Enrichment event, featuring Dr. Allen Hunt and much more.  If you're reading this on Sunday and attended, I hope you enjoyed it!  Thank you to the Pastoral Council and the Marriage Enrichment team for arranging this event.  Also this same Saturday night is the annual Men's Club Final Four Party in the gym. 

School Board will meet this Monday, April 8th at 7pm in the parish center conference room.  Members of the school board, among other things, have been busy at work planning the implementation of our STEAM Lab for the start of next school year.  If you recall, we are able to build this great lab because of the funds raised from last September's Emerald City Gala.

My Tuesday Theology Talk this April 9th will be on the Women of the Old Testament.  This will be the last talk for a few weeks as we break for Easter.

I look forward this Wednesday to helping at the Notre Dame College Prep Lent penance service.  I was able to be at the St. Patrick's penance service a few weeks ago.  We will then be doing Confirmation Interviews that same Wednesday evening for the CCD 7th graders.

Holy Week is quickly approaching, so I figured I'd give you the schedule to save on your calendars:

Sunday, April 14th- Palm Sunday (regular Mass schedule)

Monday, April 15th- Parish Penance Service at 7pm

Thursday, April 18th- Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7pm, followed by Eucharistic Adoration in the church until 11pm

Friday, April 19th - Morning Prayer at 9am, Stations of the Cross at 11:30am, Confessions at noon, Passion of Our Lord Service at 3pm, Stations of the Cross at 7pm

Saturday, April 20th - Morning Prayer at 9am, Blessing of Baskets at 11am, Easter Vigil at 7pm

Sunday, April 21st - Masses at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11am


Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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