Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. The first two readings of Mass today speaks of God doing something new. Isaiah the prophet proclaims to the Israelites exiled in the city of Babylon that just as God once opened the way for their escape from the Egyptians; this same God will now open the way for their return to their homeland. God will do “something new” for the people “whom I have formed for myself” (Isaiah 43:16-21). St. Paul writing to his friends in Philippi declares that the "something new" is Jesus Christ and he counts all else as loss as he strains towards the goal of being possessed by Christ.(Phil 3:8-14). In today’s Gospel, (John 8:1-11) a woman, “had been caught committing adultery” is hauled before a gawking crowd by the leading religious authorities of that day. This woman was being used by the Pharisees and the elders of the people to try and ensnare Jesus. “They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him." (John 8:6) They were not interested in this woman. They showed not the slightest regards for her feelings, not the tiniest shred of concern for her as a person. She was simply someone they could use in the hope of entrapping Jesus. To them she was like a bait to a fisherman. The bait is gladly sacrificed in the hope of catching a fish. To use another person in such a way is a despicable thing. She stands in shame and fear and dreads the possibility of losing her life. She has lost her dignity, and her self-respect. Where is her lover or her husband? There is no mention of them in this story. The only men around are holding stones ready to use to kill her. If Jesus had said, "Yes, stone her, she broke the law of Moses” Jesus then would have been in trouble with the Roman authorities of his day, because the Jewish people were not allowed to kill anyone without permission from those same authorities. If he said, " No don't stone her” Jesus would have been accused of disregarding the law of Moses, and as a teacher of that law that was a serious offence. However Jesus lets them know that he was aware of their game. He invites them to look towards their own sins. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7) He didn’t even judge them, he invited them to judge themselves. Jesus will not judge the woman in the centre of the controversy. His mission is about mercy and forgiveness, not judgement and condemnation. He did not come to expose the sores of his people, but to heal them. Meeting Jesus changes people. It changed those who were in the act of condemnation, and it changed the lady who was about to be killed. Jesus tells her to avoid her sin, but he does not condemn her. Instead he offered her healing. What is more important he offered her a future. We are invited into a world of no condemnation, not even in God. We are invited into a world of change without condemnation. Can we keep walking without sin? Can we let go of the stones that we throw at others, and the ones that we throw at ourselves?
Ukraine collection: The collection came to £5040 and €1000. This collection is a credit to your generosity, kindness and goodness to a people who are suffering horrendously in a conflict not of their own making. May you be blessed for your magnanimity.
Church collection: Our Church collection £1290. In these difficult stringent financial times we appreciate your wonderful support of our ministry here in the Graan.
Renovated Confessionals: We are renovating the old confession boxes in the main body of our church. We will be moving out of the confessional room behind the sanctuary soon. For adequate ventilation we have new windows installed, and one can speak with the confessor face-to-face or behind the curtain.
Church Cleaning Group: April’s group will meet on Wednesday 6th April @ 7.30pm.
The Shop: Open Mon to Sat:9.30am – 7pm. Sun 9.30 – 4.30pm.
Guild Mass Cards: Easter, Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Wedding. Cost £2 / €2.50. We have confirmation and Holy Communion items etc.
Friday Exposition continues each Friday from 10am – 2pm.
Mass: Mon to Fri @ 7pm. Mon (4th April) @ 7pm – Charles. (Confessions Tues to Fri 2pm – 5pm). Tues: Brian. Wed – Victor Thurs – Arthur. Fri – Anthony. Confessions Saturday 5 – 6pm. Sat – Anthony.
James Cleary, Killesher
Tommy Beggan, Aghadrumsee
Fr Sean, Mc Grath, SPS, Kiltegan formerly Ederney
George Burleigh, Belfast
Aidan Maguire, Boho
Maureen Griffith, nee Fitzgerald, Boston formerly Ture, Clones
Packie Corrigan, Arney
Audrey Gallagher, Belcoo
Mary & Owen Mc Caffrey, Killaculla, Tempo
Thomas and Teresa Mc Grenaghan, Enniskillen
Monica Mc Cauley, Lurgandarragh, Rigg Rd, Enniskillen
Mary Boylan, Moneymore & Ballymoney (Months’ Mind)
Maisie Boyd, Brendrum Pk, Enniskillen (Month’s Mind)
Phelim Gollogly, Epsom, Surrey (formerly Keady)
Sally Kelly, nee Maguire, Irvinestown
James Curran, Carrigallen, Co Leitrim
Thomas & Mary Ellen Kelly, Augher
Ellen Maguire, Mullinaveigh, Arney
Eddie Todd & the Todd Family, Lisnaskea
Brian & Willie Walsh & the Walsh family, Ederney
The Carleton Family, Ederney