YEAR C: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT
THEME: AND I WILL NEVER FORGET
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Is. 43:16-21
Second reading – Phil. 3:8-14
Gospel – Jn. 8:1-11
Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan Friar who volunteered to die in place of Franciszek Gajowniczek who cried out “my wife, my children” when he was counted among those to die by starvation in the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, located in German occupied Poland during the World War II. Records have it that Franciszek after gaining his freedom never forgot the Saint who gave his life, nay, his all to save him. Francisczek was present both at the beatification and canonization of St Maximilian Kolbe. If the brave Saint were to have anything left to be taken care of, I suppose, Franciszek could have gone extra mile to pay back with the best he had. Yes, to whom much has been given, much is expected. And to who all has been given, even all is expected. The most precious gift we have ever received is Jesus the only Son of God. The forth gospel tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” – Jn 3:16.
Like Gajowniczek, the woman caught in adultery in today’s gospel, came close shave to death. What could have become of her was it not for Christ? Jesus risked it all because of her. When Satan sought to sniff life out of us as when Franciszek was condemned, Jesus came to our rescue, like St Maximilian Kolbe, came to exchange His own life for Franciszek. When Satan brought us in accusation for destruction like the Jews brought the adulterous woman, our rescuer was Jesus. It gives a great meaning to what the book of Revelations said: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down” Rev. 12:10. These things call for a response; and such a response should be that of appreciation. How can we repay God for His goodness? The mystery we celebrate this season of Lent is more of recalling what Jesus risked to rescue us too.
To this, we must be grateful. St Vincent De Paul said that ingratitude is the worst sin. It could have been bad if the man for whom Maxmillian Kolbe gave up his life never remembered him. It could have been bad if the woman caught in adultery continued in her evil, given no damn to the compassion Jesus showed her. In the same manner, it would be very bad if you and I forget Jesus who gave up his life for us. The best appreciation to Jesus is to be resolute in obeying Him in all things, and to show same act of compassion to our neighbor. Sometimes, we are like the bush animal that was shown favor by liberating it from the trap that caught it; the response was to flee into the bush together with the charity. With what are we going to appreciate God for the compassion he shows us?