Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
May 19, 2024


Forty days before the Triduum, the Lenten season disposes Catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery through prayer and penitential practices.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Reading I : Isaiah 43:16-21

God makes a new way for us.

  • After exile in Babylon, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.
  • The Jewish people were aware that the trip back to Jerusalem would be arduous and lead them to a devastated county in need of rebuilding.
  • In today’s first reading, the prophet encourages the people to accept deliverance in this new exodus.

Reading II : Philippians 3:8-14

Freedom is knowing Christ Jesus.

  • In his letter to the Philippians, Paul speaks of a different kind of liberation.
  • Jewish Christians in Philippi insisted that Christians, including Gentiles, could be saved only by keeping all the prescriptions of Jewish law.
  • Paul insists that salvation comes not through scrupulous observance of the law but through faith in Christ and his resurrection.

Gospel : John 8:1-11

Who is without sin and can throw the first stone.

  • In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees, intent on trapping Jesus, present a woman accused of adultery to him.
  • Jesus did not contradict the law nor declare the woman guiltless.
  • Instead, he forgave the repentant sinner and confronted her accusers with their own sinfulness.