Lent Reflection
Before Holy Week, Put Yourself Right with Our Lord
by Father Aaron Downing Parochial Vicar, St. Bridget Parish, Loves Park
March 31, 2022
The Gospel for the fifth Sunday of Lent is a perfect one to start off the week.
We hear in the Gospel of the women caught in adultery. Jesus states to those wanting to stone her, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  
If we continue reading, we notice that no one in the crowd cast a stone because they all have sin that affects their relationships with God and their neighbors. 
This Gospel is a reminder that we need to reflect on our relationship with God. Where do we need to do better in the relationships we have with our neighbors, and how can we conform our heart to the will of God? 
We enter this season through our individual Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to celebrate Easter, with a deeper joy of seeing where we have grown and knocked down walls that were hindering us in our relationship with the Lord and others. 
Perhaps you have not taken that time like you had hoped or failed at what you had set out to accomplish this Lent. That is okay. You have these final days before Holy Week to really hit the ground running and do a final push to the celebration of Easter. 
One of my favorite parts of this final week is hunkering down and doing a little more self-reflection on where I have grown in my relationship with my neighbors, conformed my heart more deeply, or where I need to trust in God. 
I find there is a need to ask the Lord for help in order to have a deeper experience of His mercy and forgiveness.Often I find that help through participating in the sacrament of confession. 
Whether you regularly participate in confession, or if it has been a significant amount of time, consider going to confession before the celebration of Easter. The confessional is the place I find the mercy and forgiveness that I am seeking from God. 
Across the Diocese of Rockford on April 6, we will be celebrating our annual Be Reconciled Day. This is a day in which the parishes of the diocese offer the sacrament of confession throughout the day. 
Consider going to confession before Holy Week so that you may experience the Resurrection of our Lord in a deeper way.
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