by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
Who among us doesn't treasure something new? As a child we may have received a new toy, entered a new grade, or made a new friend. When older we might have invested in a new home, purchased a new car, or started a more challenging job with higher pay. The experience of newness engendered a burst of energy and fresh life.
Today we hear Isaiah reassure the Chosen People that God is forming them into a new people. In the wastelands of their lives, God, Who is the "Fountain Fullness," promises them new sources of living water.
In the Gospel, John describes Jesus' encounter with the adulterous woman. She must have been terrified as the men accused her of transgressing the law. Jesus did not join in their judgment of her but asked instead who among the men was without sin. As each one slipped away, Jesus invited the woman to turn from her old way of life to a new life of discipleship.
In this Lenten season Jesus also calls us to discipleship. We, too, will be made new if we allow Jesus Christ to take possession of us. Then we can join the Psalmist and proclaim: "The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy!"
chapter 12, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
Mary is the first and greatest of all the disciples of Christ. The Second Vatican Council reminds us that Mary "occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and also closest to us." ( Lumen Gentium, no.54) Closest to Christ and closest to us - is it any wonder that Mary has appeared to so many and why we are drawn to her in times of need and in our desire to be closer to her Son?
Mary, in God's plan, was conceived without original sin (the Immaculate Conception) in her "yes" to become the mother of Jesus. She lovingly lived out her daily, human life dedicated to God, to her Son and to Jesus' mission. After her death, Mary experienced a bodily resurrection (the Assumption) and is now and forever exalted as Queen of all things in heaven and on earth.
Hail Mary, full of grace!
Thank you, S. Sally Ann for the challenge to focus on God's NEW invitation/ blessing in our lives today.
What joy there is in newness. New life. Thank you for expressing it so well.