When we pray the petition, “thy will be done,” we may find ourselves at times being caught up in distraction.
This is a very human reality. When distracted — admittedly, this can be very common — the will of God for those praying this petition can be easily mistaken for one’s own will. In other words, we think we already know the will of God. We can go astray and need the divine light of grace. An illustration of this is found in today’s Gospel.
The Gospel illustrates the tense scene consisting of the Pharisees, the woman caught in adultery and Jesus Christ. With the intent to trap Jesus, the Pharisees were certainly not prepared for the divine wisdom that would come from his words and his actions.
By referring to the need to conform to the Law of Moses, the Pharisees were seemingly following God’s will. However, the divine physician read their hearts and responded by saying, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Their attempted trickery turned into a failure, and they were convicted of their own personal sin. The true light of Christ scattered their darkness.
The Pharisees, as well as the woman caught in adultery, were confronted with the grace of Christ in this difficult moment. Their sin was laid bare, and now they had to make a choice.
In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
The divine light can move our hearts out of the past and into the divine light of Jesus Christ.
In the responsorial psalm, those with the divine light are able to rejoice in humble gratitude, “‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.”
This is only when we encounter the real will of God. In the second reading, St. Paul wrote that those with the divine light are in “pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”
Time to reflect
During Lent, we take time to consider where we need to do better in following God’s will and not ours — where we need change in our lives, to turn away from sin and toward love.
Our Gospel reminds us that we need to be confronted by the light of Christ to see that will, to see where we need to change. This week, ask Christ to shine his light on your heart, to truly follow him, and not just your idea of him and his will. That way, we may better rejoice at Easter.
Deacon Stueve is in formation for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His home parish is Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers, and his teaching parish is Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood.
Sunday, March 17
Fifth Sunday of Lent
- Isaiah 43:16-21
- Philippians 3:8-14
- John 8:1-11
How can you better discern God’s during the remaining days of Lent?
Category: Sunday Scriptures