Fifth Sunday of Lent – Jesus Have Mercy on Us Sinners

Never was there shown Considerateness towards others such as that shown by this man:

For Him, one’s neighbor is always better than reports handed down about him by doctors of the Law who endlessly intend to reduce him in stature. For Him, instead; one can see in the neighbor always room for hope, room for a vitalized promise, a possibility past imagining, that of a being summoned straight out of its limitations, and in spite of them, straight out of sins, crimes, even to a different future. It happens so that we can observe deep inside it some secret wonders whose contemplation brings forth thanksgiving.

He says not: behold here a public sinner, tainted in the moral and religious traditions of her background, and besides, a mere female. What he does, ins­tead, is just to ask her for a drink of water and thus is started the conversation.

(The Samaritan Woman at the well of Jacob)

He says not: behold a public sinner, a prostitute steeped in vice for life. What He says, instead, is: She has a better chance for the Kingdom of God than those too-attached to their wealth or who boast of their own virtue or wisdom.

(Mary Magdalene)

He says not: she is an adventuress in adultery. What He says is, simply: I condemn you not; go and sin no more.                      (The woman taken in adultery)

He says not: that’s some hysterical woman who’s grabbed hold of my clothing. Instead; He hears her out, addresses her, and cures her.

(The Canaanite Woman)

He says not: this old lady with penny that she drops into the temple poor-box, what a superstitious one she is. What instead He does is praise that acts of hers and draws there from a general lesson in generosity.    (The woman with the two pennies)

He says not: what a nuisance these children. What He says is, simply: let these children come right to me and you will have to become again like them.

(The children and the Apostles)

He says not: nothing more than a fraudulent official is this man, with his facile praise for the man of power while grinding the poor to dust. Instead, He invites Himself for supper at this official’s home and further declares Salvation for his whole household.                                                            (Zacchaeus)

He says not: this man is blind, verily, in payment for sins of his forebears. Instead, He states that everybody, the Apostles included, has been barking up the wrong tree, in telling them all that this man enjoys the favor of God: Necessary is it that God’s action be manifest in him.                                                 (The man born blind)

He says not: this centurion just holds a job. What He says, instead, is: Never have I seen such faith in Israel.                      (The Centurion)

He says not: this wise man is too brainy. What He, instead, does, is open the way for total re-birth spiritually.                       (Nicodemus)

He says not: this fellow is an outlaw. What He says, instead, is: Today wilt thou be with me in Paradise.                            (The good thief)

He says not: a traitor for good is this Judas. Instead, He kisses him, calling him friend.

He says not: this windbag is a renegade at heart. Instead, He declares, Pedro, loves thou me?

He says not: these high priests are treacherous judges, this king a nincompoop, this Roman procurator a frightened coward; this crowd that scorns me is nothing but a mob; these soldiers , nothing but hangmen. He says, Father, forgive them or they know not what they do.

Never did the lips of Jesus say: nothing good is there in this one or in that one, or in this setting, or the world to come. Were He to be speaking to people today, never would have labeled such-and-such as a modernist, a leftist, a fascist, an theist, a fool…In His concept, all others, whatever their deeds, their identities, their reputation, are beloved by God.

No other man ever held others in such considerateness as that of this man. Unique stands He. He is the Only-begotten Son, who makes the sun to shine alike over the good and the evil.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.

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