In prayer this morning, as I began to pray with the story of the adulterous woman, I couldn’t help but think of this passage and think of my journey through Lent. This Lent has been a struggle. It’s been hard to add the time for prayer that I committed to on Ash Wednesday. It’s been hard to stick to my sacrifice. It’s been hard to remember why we are doing all of this. It’s been so easy to get in a routine and forget I ever made the goal to add more prayer in my life. It’s been easy to get caught up in the hectic nature of the semester. It’s been way too easy to stick with what’s comfortable.
Bottom line, over the last couple weeks, it’s been easy to feel defeated.
I have told myself countless times, “well you missed it again today, try again tomorrow” and by the time tomorrow comes I find myself saying, “I missed yesterday too, so what’s another day?” All the while, I know Jesus is patiently there, calling me back to Him– in small ways and big ways.
Today, Jesus called me in one of those big ways. The story of the adulterous woman has always struck me. How must this woman have been feeling? She had been caught in adultery. She was on the verge of being stoned. She was dirty. She was the lowest of the low in this moment. Jesus took this situation, this woman, and separated her from her sin. She no longer was defined by her sin. She met face to face with mercy. Mercy was standing in front of her. After the people had left, Jesus looked into her eyes and showed her the true immensity of his mercy. He wasn’t there to condemn her; he was there to love her, to give her a future.
The same is true for each of us. Despite our sin, Jesus is still here. Jesus takes me. He takes you. He meets us face to face with his mercy. He looks into our eyes and lifts us up. This morning, He reminded me that even though I’ve failed countless times to follow my Lenten resolutions, He still loves me deeply. He still desires my relationship and friendship.
Every page and word of the Gospels, every faithful action and teaching of my Church has one, single purpose: to convince you that I want to walk with you now and spend eternity showing you the splendors of my Kingdom. I am all for you, and I ask in return only one thing—the same thing I asked of this adulterous woman: trust me, accept my love, and turn away from sin. – Jesus
–John Bartunek, The Better Part
Whether you’ve stuck to your Lenten resolutions every day, or you’ve hardly been able to stick to them, stop and hear Jesus say to you today, “I am all for you, and I ask in return only one thing—the same thing I asked of this adulterous woman: trust me, accept my love, and turn away from sin.”
- Trust Him. Trust that He deeply loves you. Trust that He has a plan for you. Trust that He is always with you. Trust that His mercy is far greater than any sin.
- Accept His love. Accept His love that led Him to the Cross. Accept His love that went through immense suffering so that He wouldn’t have to live without you. Accept His love from His Sacred Heart that beats for you.
- Turn away from sin. Make a commitment today to continue to hold fast to your Lenten resolutions. Make a commitment to continue to seek Him even when it’s hard and when life is busy.
When we truly accept that Jesus offers his mercy to us, again and again without fail, we can have the courage to truly begin again. We free ourselves to make the end our Lenten journey a steady trek toward our Savior.