The Best is Yet to Come
(5th Sunday of Lent: Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11)
St. Paul writes that he has accepted the loss of all things for the sake of Christ. What things? In the verses immediately before this passage, he states: “In righteousness based on the law I was blameless.” He was a perfect pharisee, in the best sense of the word, one who loved God’s Law and strove to observe it perfectly.
In his world that was a lot to lose, but compared to “the supreme good of knowing Christ,” he now considered it “rubbish.” And he concludes: “Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”
Isaiah even goes so far as to tell us to forget God’s former triumphs, because what lies ahead is greater still: “I am doing something new!”
Today’s Gospel story is usually titled The Woman Caught in Adultery.In the spirit of today’s readings, however, we ought to change that to The Woman Saved by Jesus.Saved from two things: from stoning and from sin. We must believe that at the same time as Jesus told her, “Go, and from now on do not sin any more,” he made it possible for her to live a new life. Her future would be more important than her past.
That hope is the goal of conversion, which is the point of Lent. That was the Beautiful Lady’s hope in coming to La Salette. Her people had been “caught” in their sins and were facing due punishment. Her Son was once again in the position of letting the penalty stand or offering salvation. His preference is clear, and the message for us is the same as to the woman: “From now on do not sin any more.”
But is that really possible? Actually, it is. Sin means turning our back on God. Conversion means turning to him once again, seeking his grace and strength, rediscovering the joy of his love and putting that love into practice. Our Christian life will have its imperfections, but living in Christ will remind us that it is he who saves. We sow in tears, but by his power we will reap rejoicing.
La Salette calls us to that same conviction that the best is yet to come.