Pray, Fast, Give: Fifth Week Sunday of Lent
Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:1-11
This week, we encounter the familiar story of the woman caught in adultery. A large crowd has gathered in the temple to hear Jesus teach, when the Pharisees bring in the woman and challenge Jesus as to her fate. They tell him that the law says she must be stoned. Jesus doesn’t rise to the bait or contradict the law. Instead, he tells them that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone. As Jesus writes in the dirt, one by one, the accusers leave. Jesus then rises and speaks directly to the woman. He does not dispense punishment, but asks her to change her ways.
Help me to be merciful to others as you are merciful to me.
Let me not be so quick to see others’ faults, but to love them as you do.
Grant me the courage to resist the temptation to cast a stone, and the strength to change my own ways.
Consider this, am I quick to see the fault in others? Do I judge them? Do I revel in seeing another’s comeuppance? What about myself? Do I look within and see my own shortcomings and failings as readily? This week, try fasting from judging others, offering mercy instead. Can you offer yourself the same mercy?
According to the World Health Organization, discrimination on the basis of their sex leads to many health hazards for women around the world. Throughout Bolivia—but especially in traditional, rural areas—wives and mothers may put the health needs of other family members before their own. Consequently, many women suffer in silence with abnormal bleeding, tumors or fibroids, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and other health problems, often related to multiple childbirths. Gynecologic Surgery is one of four year-round surgical programs operated by Solidarity Bridge and Puente de Solidaridad. In 2018, we established a new partnership with the Instituto Chuquisaqueño de Oncología (ICO) in Sucre, Bolivia. Although the ICO specializes in cancer, its predominantly-female founders and staff have chosen to broaden services to cover a full range of unmet gynecologic surgery and treatment needs for women from throughout southern Bolivia.