LECTIO DIVINA: 5th Sunday of Lent (C)

jesus-adultrous-woman-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone

INVOKING THE HOLY SPIRIT

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128.4).

LECTIO

With heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the Temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them.

Then the Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

MEDITATIO

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. John.

Well, everyone judges his like: a man judges another man, a mortal on another mortal, a sinner on another sinner. But if the statement of the Lord is put in between them: “He who is without sin, let him be the first to throw the stone at her,” does not everyone who judges the earth suffer an earthquake? Let us recall the passage of the Gospel.

To test the Lord, the Pharisees presented to him a woman caught in adultery, a sin for which a punishment had been established in the Law, i.e., the Law given by Moses, the servant of God. The Pharisees therefore, approached the Lord with this deceptive and tricky dilemma. If he commanded to stone that defamed woman, he would lose his meekness; if, on the contrary, he prohibited what is established by the Law, he would be a Law breaker.

To those who asked about paying tribute to Caesar, he caught them in their own words, asking them whose coin were they showing him and whose image and whose inscription were engraved in it? Those who asked him said in reply that in the coin was found the image of Caesar. Taking their own words, he replied: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. This was to remind them that they had to give to God the image of God in man, as to Caesar is given the image engraved in the coin.

In a similar way, as is also in the case of the adulterous woman, he also asked the inquirers themselves, thus judging the judges themselves. He says: “I don’t prohibit you from stoning her whom the Law commands to be stoned, but I ask: By whom is she to be stoned? I do not oppose the Law, but I seek who must execute it?” Finally, listen: “Do you want to stone her according to the Law?” He who is without sin let him be the first to throw stone at her.

While he was listening to their words, Jesus was writing on the ground with his fingers to instruct the earth; but, while he was saying this to the Pharisees, he raised his eyes, he looked at the earth and made it tremble. After he had said this, he began again to write on the ground. Distressed and fearful, they started to file out one after another. Oh, earthquake in which the earth moved so much as to shift its poles!

Thus it was that, when the Pharisees had departed, the Savior was left with the sinner; the sick and the physician remained; misery and mercy were left. And looking at the woman he said: “Has no one condemned you? She said: “No one, Lord.” Despite everything, she remained preoccupied. The sinners did not dare condemn her; they did not dare to stone the sinner, those who upon looking into themselves found themselves in equal footing as she. But the woman continued in serious danger, because the judge who has remained is without sin. He says: “Has no one condemned you?” She answered: “No one, Lord” and if neither do you, then I am secure. Seeing this preoccupation, the Lord, answered her in encouraging tone: “Neither will I condemn you.” Though I am without sin, “Neither will I condemn you.” Their own conscience impeded them to condemn you; I am drawn by forgiveness and mercy (s. 13, 4-5).  

ORATIO

With the text let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

  1. “He who is without sin, let him be the first to throw the stone” (Jn 8:7).
    • How many stones do you throw at those with whom you live, because you judge them, you condemn them and you have no patience?
    • Up to what point does your pride bring you that you do not see your own sins, and makes you feel better and more holy than the others?
  2. “Thus, when the Pharisees had departed, there remained the sinner and the Savior; there remained the sick and the physician; there remained the misery and mercy” (s. 13, 5).
    • The sinful woman could not deny her sin, you, how do you stand before God at this moment?
    • In your life, what need do you have of God’s mercy?

CONTEMPLATIO

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again you do not need to follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

  1. Contemplate the woman dragged before Christ and the Pharisees who wanted to stone the woman. Contemplate how Christ serenely writes on the ground, and how, ever so slowly, all who were accusing the woman retreated. Contemplate the final scene of forgiveness given to the sinner. Contemplate and adore.
  2. Identify yourself with the sinner and feel profoundly the guilt of your sins, but at the same time experience, like the woman in the Gospel, the forgiveness and the infinite mercy of Christ. Experience the infinite love of Christ for all men.

COMMUNICATIO

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially about not judging others, and the experience of God’s infinite mercy. The following points can help you as guide to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

FINAL PRAYER OF ST. AUGUSTINE

Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our minds, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2019 >
October
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  • All day
    October 1, 2019

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    LAUNCHING OF THE EXTRAORDINARY MONTH OF MISSION

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

2
  • All day
    October 2, 2019

    2nd PRIORS’ MEETING OF THE QUADRENNIUM
    October 2-3, 2019 / Provincial Curia

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2019)
    Fray Leo Alaras

3
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    October 3, 2019

    START OF THE NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED (Valencia) /
    OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (Baguio)

    21st PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Baco, AR
    Sr. Elyn Joy Olmedo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1987-2019)
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Jorge Peligro

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ramona Plaza, AR

4
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    October 4, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2003-2019)
    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
  • All day
    October 5, 2019

    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    CONSISTORY 2019

    ELECTORS:

    1)  Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot MCCJ (b 1952), President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

    2)  José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça (b 1965), Librarian and Archivist of the Roman Church

    3)  Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo (b 1950), Archbishop of Jakarta, Indonesia

    4)  Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez (b 1948), Archbishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana, Cuba

    5)  FridolinAmbongoBesunguOFMCap(b1960),ArchbishopofKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    6)  Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ (b 1958), Archbishop of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

    7)  Álvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri (b 1947), Bishop of Huehuetenango, Guatemala

    8)  Matteo Maria Zuppi (b 1955), Archbishop of Bologna, Italy

    9)  Cristóbal López Romero SDB (b 1952), Archbishop of Rabat, Morocco

    10)Michael Czerny SJ (b 1946), Under-secretary of the Migrant and Refugee Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

    NON-ELECTORS:

    11) Michael Louis Fitzgerald M Afr (b 1937), Apostolic Nuncio (retired)

    12) Sigitas Tamkevicius SJ (b 1938), Archbishop Emeritus of Kaunas, Lithuania

    13) Eugenio Dal Corso PSDP (b 1939), Bishop Emeritus of Benguela, Angola

     

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Miguela Obera, AR

6
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    October 6, 2019

    SPECIAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE PAN-AMAZON REGION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
    October 6-27, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA: OUR QUEEN OF VICTORY PARISH
    Xiaogang, Taiwan

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Primitiva Berdejo, AR
    Sr. Noemi Mapa, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR

7
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    October 7, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Juliet Natinga, AR
    Fray Ralp Andrew Cepe, Jr. (simply prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2006-2019)
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Fray Russell Lapidez
    Fray Virgilio Paredes

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Miranda de Santa Monica, AR

8
  • All day
    October 8, 2019

    USJ-R BALAMBAN (SHS Scouts) joins 8th NATIONAL SCOUT VENTURE CAMP
    October 6-12, 2019 / Theme: “Commitment to Excellence”
    Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

    CST-R SAN CARLOS: 79th HIGH SCHOOL DAYS AND INTRAMURALS
    October 8-12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Neil Ryan Jarumay
    Ms. Nestoria “Inday” Bad-an (Sister General of the Order)
9
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    October 9, 2019

    2nd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO (Pangasinan)

10
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    October 10, 2019

    ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA, Bishop and Patron of Studies

    CLOSING OF PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO COLOMBIA

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Raul Dael, DD [Bishop of Tandag]
    Sr. Ofelia Laspobres, AR

11
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    October 11, 2019

    ST. POPE JOHN XXIII

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Samuel Eyas

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    October 12, 2019

    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    CELEBRATION OF THE FOURTH CENTENARY OOF THE RECOLETOS ARRIVAL IN ROME
    Solemn Mass Presider: Carlos Cardinal Aguiar (Archbishop Primate of Mexico)
    Time: 6:00 PM

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
    Time: 9:00 A.M. / CARES, Baguio City
    Presider & Homilist: Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR (Prior Provincial)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
    Valencia, Negros Oriental / Time: 10:00 A.M.
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    FOUNDATION DAY OF TAHANANG TALANGPAZ, TAGAYTAY CITY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
    Sr. Bernarditha Barnido, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Dionisia Mitas de Santa Maria Talangpaz

13
  • All day
    October 13, 2019

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

    CANONIZATION OF JOHN HENRY NEWMAN & 4 OTHERS:

    -Sister Mariam Thresia of India – Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family;

    – Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini – Foundress of the Daughters of Saint Camillus;

    – Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God; and

    – Marguerite Bays of Switzerland, of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi

    NEGROS ORIENTAL DAY

     

14
  • All day
    October 14, 2019

    150 years ago, on October 14, 1869, together with 17 other Recollect missionaries composing Mission LX, Fray Ezekiel Moreno boarded the frigate Concepción at Cádiz, Spain en route to the Philippines. The group arrived in Manila on February 10, 1870.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Laura Cabanacan, AR
    Sr. Rhena Sherra Caranzo, AR

15
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    October 15, 2019

    15th ANNIVERSARY OF SARF-INAGAWAN CHAPTER

    DEADLINE OF AMRSP Logo Contest

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renz Calex Soriano, OAR (simply prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2019)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Monica de Espiritu Santo, AR

16
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    October 16, 2019

    WORLD FOOD DAY 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Pia Pineda, AR
    Sr. Ma. Linda Peña, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2019)
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    Sr. Margarita de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

17
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    October 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. [Bishop of Cubao]
    Sr. Ma. Cirila Uy, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Visitacion de San Miguel, AR
    Sr. Gabriela Garcines, AR
    Sr. Jacinta Mandia Robin, AR

18
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    October 18, 2019

    SPA VALENCIA: START OF SCHOOL DAYS CELEBRATION

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Arnel Diaz

19
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    October 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    SARF-VISAYAS REGIONAL GATHERING October 19-20, 2019
    Host: San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Chapter, Talisay

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn Sarmiento, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Virginia Acha, AR

20
  • All day
    October 20, 2019

    WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI, Patroness of the Secular Augustinian Recollects

    PARISH FIESTA OF STA. REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)

    SARF VISAYAS – RITES OF ADMITTANCE TO THE TRIAL PERIOD AND PROMISED

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

21
  • All day
    October 21, 2019

    ARSE BATCH 2
    October 21-25, 2019
    Facilitator: Fray Lauro Larlar, OAR

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ursulina Balading, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lutgarda Cañete, AR

22
  • All day
    October 22, 2019

    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

    BIRTHDAY

    Archbp. Agustinus Agus, DD (Archdiocese of Pontianak, Indonesia)
    Fray Edgar Tubio
    Sr. Teresita Diana, AR

23
  • All day
    October 23, 2019

    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Hernando Coja
    Sr. Herminia Catindig, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2019)
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

24
  • All day
    October 24, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rafael Cabarles
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1996-2019)
    Fray Glynn Ortega

25
  • All day
    October 25, 2019

    ST. JOHN STONE, Priest & Martyr

    AUGUSTINIAN SCHOOLS ATHLETIC MEET (ASAM) 2019
    October 26-31, 2019
    Host: Colegio San Agustin, Bacolod City

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Veronica Purto, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1995-2019)
    Fray Joel Dequilla

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1983-2019)
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

26
  • All day
    October 26, 2019

    SARF-LUZON REGIONAL GATHERING WITH THE RITES OF ADMITTANCE TO THE TRIAL PERIOD AND PROMISED
    Host: Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish (Tondo Chapter)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dionisio Selma
    Fray Renie Villalino
    Sr. Rosalie Ubo, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Leonora Mercado, AR

27
  • All day
    October 27, 2019

    PRISON AWARENESS SUNDAY
    160th ANNIVERSARY OF EVANGELIZATION IN TAIWAN (1859 – 2019)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Limchaypo

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Presentacion de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Martina Labao, AR

28
  • All day
    October 28, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jeana Abejuela, AR

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  • All day
    October 30, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF MOST. REV. NATALE PANGELLI, SX, Bishop of Makeni, Sierra Leone

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Dominador Mercado Jr.
    Sr. Lorlie Decir, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1999-2019)
    Fray Joel Alve

31
  • All day
    October 31, 2019

    SYMBOLIC MISSION SENDING
    (cf. Section for Mission Apostolate)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Albina de la Virgen de Soledad, AR

  

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