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Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

Monday April 7, 2025

Daily Mass Readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

  • First Reading - Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62: Susanna is found guilty of a crime she did not commit and is sentenced to death, but Daniel intervenes and exposes the false testimony of the two elders. The elders are subsequently executed, and innocent blood is spared.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 23: Guided by the Lord, my needs are met, my soul refreshed. Through dark valleys, fear doesn't touch me, for His presence brings comfort. Surrounded by foes, I'm blessed abundantly, assured of His perpetual kindness and dwelling in His presence eternally.
  • Gospel - John 8:1-11: The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, hoping to trap him. Jesus responded by challenging them to only stone her if they themselves were without sin and, as a result, they left one by one. Jesus then forgave the woman and instructed her to turn away from sin.

Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

John 8:7

Themes for the Readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

The readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent, featuring the story of Susanna from Daniel 13 and the account of the woman caught in adultery from John 8, share several important themes that are rich in meaning and relevance for our faith journey. Here are the key themes:

  • Justice and Mercy: Both readings emphasize the balance between justice and mercy. In the story of Susanna, justice is served when the false accusers are exposed and punished, while Susanna's innocence is upheld. In the Gospel, Jesus exemplifies divine mercy by forgiving the woman caught in adultery, highlighting that God's mercy often surpasses human justice.
  • The Dignity of the Individual: These readings underscore the inherent dignity of each person. Susanna is respected for her faithfulness and integrity, and the woman in the Gospel is treated with compassion by Jesus, despite the accusations against her. This shows that every person is valued and worthy of respect, irrespective of their past actions.
  • The Power of Truth: In both stories, the truth ultimately prevails. Daniel's wisdom brings the truth to light in Susanna's case, and Jesus' response to the accusers reveals the deeper truth about sin, forgiveness, and human frailty. These narratives remind us of the importance of seeking and standing by the truth.
  • Condemnation and Forgiveness: The readings highlight the contrast between human inclination to condemn and God's readiness to forgive. While the elders and the scribes and Pharisees are quick to judge and condemn, the stories demonstrate God's preference for mercy and forgiveness over punishment.
  • Repentance and Conversion: Jesus' admonition to the woman, "Go, and from now on do not sin anymore," points to the theme of repentance and conversion. It's a call to turn away from sin and make a genuine change in one's life, embracing a path closer to God's will.
  • Wisdom and Discernment: Daniel's intervention in the trial of Susanna and Jesus' response to the challenge presented by the scribes and Pharisees both display profound wisdom and discernment. These stories encourage us to seek divine wisdom in dealing with difficult situations and moral dilemmas.
  • Integrity in the Face of Adversity: Susanna’s unwavering faith and integrity in the face of false accusations and the woman caught in adultery’s encounter with Jesus show the importance of maintaining one's integrity and faith, even when faced with severe trials and judgment from others.

These themes offer profound insights into the nature of God's justice, mercy, and love, and they challenge us to reflect on our own responses to sin, both in ourselves and in others, as we continue our journey through Lent.

Thoughts for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

The readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent provide us with powerful narratives that challenge us to reflect on the themes of justice, mercy, and the power of God's love. The story of Susanna, alongside the account of the woman caught in adultery, offers a profound meditation on the nature of sin, redemption, and the divine preference for mercy over judgment.

The first reading from the Book of Daniel presents us with the harrowing tale of Susanna, a woman of integrity and faith, who is falsely accused of adultery by two elders. In a society where the testimony of two men, especially elders, would be almost unassailable, Susanna's situation seems hopeless. Yet, it is in this moment of desperation that God's justice shines brightest, as the young Daniel is moved by the Spirit to challenge the false witnesses, ultimately leading to Susanna's vindication and the punishment of her accusers. This story not only celebrates the triumph of truth over deceit but also serves as a reminder of God's unwavering commitment to justice and the protection of the innocent.

Parallel to Susanna's narrative, the Gospel of John recounts the episode where Jesus is confronted with a woman caught in adultery. In this encounter, the scribes and Pharisees attempt to trap Jesus, forcing him to choose between the Mosaic law and his message of mercy. Jesus' response, however, transcends their expectations. By inviting anyone without sin to cast the first stone, Jesus highlights the universal nature of sinfulness and the need for compassion. His final words to the woman, "Go, and from now on do not sin anymore," encapsulate the essence of God's mercy: an invitation to repentance and a new life, free from the bondage of past mistakes.

These stories for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent, woven together, offer a tapestry of lessons that are particularly poignant during Lent. They invite us to consider our own tendencies to judge and condemn, reminding us that we, too, stand in need of God's mercy. The figure of Daniel, with his wisdom and courage, challenges us to be advocates for truth and justice, standing up for those who are marginalized or falsely accused. Meanwhile, Jesus' interaction with the adulterous woman encourages us to look beyond the surface of people's lives, recognizing the dignity and worth of every person, irrespective of their past.

Moreover, these narratives urge us to reflect on our own lives, recognizing areas where we need to seek forgiveness and extend it to others. Lent is a season for turning back to God, acknowledging our failings, and embracing the call to conversion. It is a time to let go of stones of judgment we might be clutching, ready to hurl at others or perhaps even at ourselves.

In a world rife with division and quick to condemn, the message of these readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent is ever relevant. They call us to embody the mercy and justice of God in our interactions with others, promoting a culture of forgiveness and understanding. As we continue our Lenten journey, let us pray for the grace to be instruments of God's mercy, channels through which His love can flow into the broken places of our world, healing, restoring, and transforming lives, just as Jesus did for the woman caught in adultery and as God did through Daniel for Susanna.


Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to be just, merciful, and forgiving. Help us grow in holiness as we journey toward the celebration of the Resurrection. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

Word on Fire: Scapegoating

In Bishop Robert Barron's reflection for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent, he discusses the story of the woman caught in adultery, highlighting it as an example of René Girard's scapegoat mechanism. He points out the accusers' eagerness for a scapegoat and praises Jesus' revolutionary response, which redirects the mob's violent energy and exposes the societal order's reliance on scapegoating. Barron notes Jesus' act of writing in the sand as a powerful symbol of exposing the accusers' sins, leading to a new order based on forgiveness, not condemnation.

USCCB Reflection: The First Stone

This USCCB video reflection for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent discusses the human tendency to judge and criticize others, likening it to throwing the "first stone." It highlights our own susceptibility to sin and the importance of self-examination over fixating on the faults of others. Emphasizing mercy and forgiveness, the reflection encourages us to embody God's endless capacity for forgiveness, urging us to drop our stones of judgment. It reminds us that, through self-examination and embracing mercy, we can become ministers of God's love and forgiveness, reflecting Jesus' call to be His Sacred Heart in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent

What date is Monday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The next date is Monday April 7, 2025.

What are the Mass readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The Mass readings for Monday April 7, 2025 are:
First Reading - Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62: The Story of Susanna
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd
Gospel John 8:1-11: The Woman Caught in Adultery

What themes are explored in the readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent explore themes of justice and mercy, the dignity of the individual, the power of truth, condemnation versus forgiveness, repentance and conversion, wisdom and discernment, and integrity in the face of adversity.

How can I apply the lessons from Monday of the 5th Week of Lent to my daily life?

To apply the lessons from Monday of the 5th Week of Lent to your daily life, consider practicing forgiveness and showing mercy to others, standing up for truth and justice in your community, and embracing opportunities for personal repentance and spiritual growth. Reflect on how you judge others and yourself, and try to view situations with compassion and understanding.

Why is the story of Susanna important for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent?

The story of Susanna is important for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent because it highlights themes of innocence, false accusation, and divine justice. It serves as a powerful reminder of God's protection over the innocent and His ability to bring truth to light, encouraging us to trust in God's justice and to be cautious in our judgments.

What is the significance of Jesus' response to the woman caught in adultery on Monday of the 5th Week of Lent?

Jesus' response to the woman caught in adultery on Monday of the 5th Week of Lent signifies the depth of God's mercy and forgiveness. It teaches us that God is more interested in our repentance and transformation than in condemning us for our past sins. This story encourages us to offer the same mercy and understanding to others that God extends to us.

How can the readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent help me prepare for Easter?

The readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent help prepare you for Easter by focusing on themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the triumph of truth and justice. Reflecting on these readings can inspire a deeper personal conversion and a renewed commitment to live according to the Gospel, aligning your life more closely with Christ's resurrection and the promise of new life.

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