Five weeks of lent have passed by, bringing us closer to the end of lent and towards Easter when we will rejoice over our growth and renewed relationship with Jesus. It is also a time when we start to reflect on how far we have come in this journey and evaluate how much of the goals that we set for ourselves have been achieved. With that, some of us may be satisfied with the progress made while others may be battling with feelings of defeat and failure for missing the mark. As for myself, I resonate with feeling disappointed as I beat myself up over my lack of discipline to follow through with the goals that I have set for myself. I think these feelings arise from me losing sight of the purpose of lent which is repentance and renewal of my relationship with God. 

However, our loving Father is merciful and He has been comforting me with this Sunday’s Gospel reading (John 8:1-11). In the Gospel reading, the Pharisee brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus for Him to propose an action to be done to her for her sins. And Jesus showed inexhaustible mercy and compassion towards her. 


“Early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.” (John 8:2-3). I see myself as the adulterous woman in the reading, not one of those who were there early to join in the session with Jesus, but the one who came in at the later part of the session. Entering in a sinful state, I felt absolutely unworthy to stand before Him. But I imagined Jesus with His gentle gaze and the comforting voice saying, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore” (John 8:11). 

During my Lenten journey, although I am like the woman who was late to join the session with Jesus, I was still warmly received by Jesus as He forgave me of my sins.  Although I am late to pick myself up again for the Lenten journey, I still receive the abundant graces that God our Father has generously poured unto me. In His generosity, I am reminded to not fixate myself on quantifying my growth based on the standards that I have set to achieve by the end of lent. In doing that, I become prone to relying on my own limited capability and end up crumbling when I am burnt out. Instead of that, I am asked to recognise my need for God’s grace to take root in me to bring me through the rest of my Lenten journey in order to deepen my relationship with Him. 

So brothers and sisters who are battling with feelings of disappointment, defeat or failure in your Lenten journey, take heart and let God’s graces lead you through the rest of the journey.