The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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March 23, 2001 Issue
Summoned to Serve

Praying with Sunday's Scriptures

April 1, 2001, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Reading I: Isaiah 43:16-21
Reading II: Philippians 3:8-14
Gospel: John 8:1-11

By Sr. Diane Baumann

Summoned to Serve

Focus: Jesus responds to righteous rage and sinfulness with gentleness, inviting transformation.

Opening Prayer: Psalm 126, 1-4

All: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Men: It seemed like a dream when the Lord brought us back to the city of Zion. We celebrated with laughter and joyful songs.

All: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Women: In foreign nations it was said, "The Lord has worked miracles for his people."

And so we celebrated, because the Lord had indeed worked miracles for us.

All: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Men: Lord, we ask you to bless us, and let us be like streams in the Southern Desert.

All: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Scripture Sharing: What thought, line or image from the Scripture readings caught your attention?

Reflection: Jesus stands with a woman caught in adultery, encircled by a raging mob. The religious leaders, spokespersons for the mob, try to entrap Jesus in a matter of the law, but Jesus responds with an inspiring challenge inviting a change of heart. Jesus' summons transforms the mob into silent, humble men and the adulteress into a listening, renewed woman. The gospel message is clear: no human being has the right to condemn another, for we are all guilty of sin. And, every sinner, ourselves included, is capable of great transformation with Jesus' help.

Faith Sharing

1. The Gospel opens with Jesus teaching people in the temple area. If you could sit with Jesus, what is it you would most like him to teach you today?

2. In the face of attack, Jesus at first does nothing except write on the ground. Describe a time when waiting and doing "nothing" helped you carry out a good decision and effective action in the end.

3. Have you ever been part of a mob, ready to "stone" someone, when the compassion of Jesus suddenly filled your heart for that person?

Action Response: How are you 'summoned to serve'?

1. Learn about Project Rachel, which helps those suffering from the aftermath of abortion, and find out how you can support this worthwhile ministry.

2. Provide a Bible for an imprisoned person.

3. Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with humble honesty.

Closing Prayer

Individuals offer their intentions to bring to prayer.

Loving God, empower us to drop the stones we are so ready to throw at those whom we see as sinners. Remove the blindness of our eyes and hearts, that we might see our own sinfulness and open ourselves to your transforming love. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Sr. Baumann is the director of religious education at St. Margaret Mary Parish, Neenah.)

Readings for the Week (March25-31)

Sunday, March 25: (Fourth Sunday of Lent) Jos 5:9a,10-12; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15:1-3,11-32.

Monday, March 26: (The Annunciation of the Lord) Is 7:10-14; Lk 1:26-38.

Tuesday, March 27: Ez 47:1-9,12; Jn 5:1-16.

Wednesday, March 28: Is 49:8-15; Jn 5:17-30.

Thursday, March 29: Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5:31-47.

Friday, March 30: Wis 2:1a,12-22; Jn 7:1-2,10,25-30.

Saturday, March 31: Jer 11:18-20; Jn 7:40-53.

Readings for the Week (April 2-8)

Monday, April 2: Dn 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62; Jn 8:1-11.

Tuesday, April 3: Nm 21:4-9; Jn 8:21-30.

Wednesday, April 4: Dn 3:14-20,91-92,95; Jn 8:31-42.

Thursday, April 5: Gn 17:3-9; Jn 8:51-59.

Friday, April 6: Jer 20:10-13; Jn 10:31-42.

Saturday, April 7: Ez 37:21-28; Jn 11:45-57.

Sunday, April 8: (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion) Lk 19:28-40; Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Lk 22:14-23:56.

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