March 30, 2020
by Mary Lee Brock
Creighton University's Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 251

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
Psalms 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
John 8:1-11
Praying Lent Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Today’s gospel from John is one of my favorites to engage in contemplative prayer to bring the story to life.  Using my imagination as I pray helps me listen to the stirrings in my heart and brings me closer to God.  In this story I embody the role of the woman who has been accused by scribes and Pharisees of adultery.  As I stand in the hot sun, my feet in the dust, I feel terrified as I have seen what happens to women in my village who have been accused of adultery.  I also feel frustration as I, like Susanna in the first reading from Daniel, am falsely accused as things are not always as they appear, and no one will listen to me.  Anger wells in me for this lack of justice but I know better than to speak up.  The crowd is growing, and I feel the negative energy surge through the people gathered.

Yet I am immediately comforted by the sight of Jesus.  Rather than interrogating me or my accusers he remains calm.  He is not dismissive but rather the opposite and is very present in the moment.  This tranquility helps my fear dissipate and allows me to remember my faith in Jesus.  My curiosity builds as I see Jesus calmly drawing in the dirt.  I cannot make out the images and I have no idea what he is doing.  When he stands up to confront my accusers I could not believe my ears when he said: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one the men who have accused me walk away and I realize I am not about to face a horrible death.  Then Jesus says to me, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”  I hear support and encouragement in the words of Jesus.  And I feel renewed strength to live my faith in all aspects of my life.

During this most unusual Lenten season as our world faces the unknowns associated with the pandemic, I am grateful to be reminded of the gentle and purposeful presence of Jesus.  I pray to know that I am not facing any challenge alone.  I ask God to show me ways I can be a calming and supportive presence for someone, especially in these times when I cannot be physically present.  I pray for curiosity to be able to see multiple perspectives of a situation and to not leap to a quick judgement.  And I pray for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical healing for our global community.

This refrain from today’s Psalm is a powerful prayer for these unsettling times:
Even though I walk in the dark valley I feel no evil; for you are at my side. 

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook