Reflections from my good friend Msgr. Richard Lavalley, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Winooski, Vermont.
Today our responsorial psalm talked about crying out to God. What an appropriate psalm response for our current age. Is this not the time we are crying out to God?
We are called to be faithful and to remember that it is Christ who is the Center of our lives. We cannot let complaints and bitterness take over the spot in our hearts reserved for God.
Today we pray for those family members with loved ones who are sick with the Coronavirus and other illnesses, that they may be able to support and care for their loved ones who suffer.
Today it struck me in hearing the readings that perhaps the woman caught in the act of adultery may not have actually been caught in the act of adultery. Could it be that she, like Susanna in the first reading, was falsely accused? Was that what Jesus saw in those accusing her, the same evil intent of the men in the first reading?
Fr. Kevin Stephens, O.P., asks us to look at the question of fear. In both the first reading and in the Gospel passage, a woman fears for her life. We too, in our own lives, suffer from fears, both ordinary and extraordinary. But Psalm 23, our responsorial psalm, reminds us of an essential truth: God always walks beside us. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God remains by our side. When we turn to him in prayer it is not so much that we are asking for some supernatural miracle or for God to somehow ‘change his mind’ but we are turning to him and asking for the reassurance that is his Presence.
Throughout these readings, God is portrayed as a peaceful savior of his people. Not once does he attack anyone or force anything.
Fr. Simon Felix Michalski, O.P., calls us to ponder what it means to live a life in the Spirit. Each of us will die and present ourselves before God, but even now on Earth we have the opportunity to participate and share in the Life and Love of the Holy Trinity. We have been called to grow in pursuit of the renewal of our lives in the Spirit, to ask God for it in prayer and and contemplation, and finally to live the Life of the Spirit here and now.
I sin. And as a result, I deserve nothing from God. Everything, everything I receive from God is because of his grace. His free gift to me, given only because God loves me. And this is true for you too.
But the psalm response for today’s Mass reminds us that God is a refuge. We have little else we can count on with certitude. But we can count on the love of God. We have little else we can be certain of tomorrow, but we can be certain tomorrow God will still love us. God is our refuge.