F1. Did God take care of the needs of the Israelites at different times on their journey? Or did God say, “See you. You’re on your own now,” once he got them out of Egypt? Does that have any meaning for you?
F2. God said, “Remember not the things of the past, the things of long ago, consider not; see, I am doing something new!” What was the “something new” that God was talking about? What is the “something new” God gives to us in our day? Does God give to you in your own life?
S1. Comparatively speaking, what are all your other possessions worth, compared to Christ? How far are you willing to “accept the loss of all things” in order to gain Christ? What helps you receive the cross?
S2. St. Paul says in this reading, “forgetting what lies behind … I continue my pursuit toward the goal.” So do you forget what lies behind? Or do you drive down a highway constantly looking in your rearview mirror? Do you “strain forward to see what lies ahead?” What happens to “now” if you are always looking forward or backwards?
G1. What was the woman’s reaction when Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on do not sin any more?” From his actions, what do you think Jesus thought about the law that dictated stoning? What would he think of torturing prisoners?
G2. Whether we have or haven’t committed adultery, is there a message for us in this story of the woman caught in adultery? Pope Francis says this:
Mercy is the Lord’s most powerful message.
If we are like the Pharisee before the altar, who said: "Thank you, Lord, for not making me like all the other men, and especially not like that fellow at the door, like that publican … ” well, then we do not know the heart of the Lord, and we shall not ever have the joy of feeling this mercy.
It is not easy to trust oneself to the mercy of God, because His mercy is an unfathomable abyss—but we must do it!
He has the ability to forget ... He kisses you, He embraces you, and He says to you: “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now, on, sin no more.” Only that counsel does He give you.
Pope Francis, Sunday Mass, March 17, 2013
**From Saint Louis University