Monday 22 March
Today is Monday the 22 March, in the 5th week of Lent.
Paul Zach and Lauren Goans, with the Porter’s Gate, sing ‘Daughters of Zion’.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’
One way to enter into prayer with this passage is to try to identify with the thoughts and feelings of three of the characters in this vivid story. Start with one of the scribes or Pharisees who have brought this woman to the Mount of Olives. What is going on in his mind and heart as he pushes the woman in front of Jesus?
Now see how far you can identify with the woman herself. What might she be thinking, how might she be feeling, as she stands there alone?
Thirdly, notice how Jesus reacts to the woman, and to the crowd. From the way that he acts, what can you sense of his own thoughts and feelings?
As you hear the passage read again, focus on the dialogue between Jesus and the woman. What do you notice particularly?
Finally, speak to the Jesus who has met you in this prayer. What is the central thing that you want to say to him?
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.