The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Stations of the Cross 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010
Stations poster 2010 Read more

The Annunciation

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Readings: Isaiah: 7:10-14, 8:10; Psalm 39; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38 Read more

Lent Retreat - Week 5, Wednesday

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Readings: Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; John 8:31-42 Read more

Lent Retreat - Week 5, Tuesday

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Readings: Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 101; John 8:21-30 Read more

Lent Retreat - Week 5, Monday

Monday, March 22, 2010
Readings: Daniel 13: 1-9. 15-17. 19-30. 33-62; Psalm 22; John 8: 12-20 Read more


Sunday, March 21, 2010
Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11

One of the great mysteries of today’s Gospel is what did Jesus write in the dust? The Fathers of the Church have proposed numerous theories. Some have suggested that Our Lord was writing the Law, others have suggested that he was writing the sins of the mob. It has even been suggested that he was doodling to show his contempt for the actions of the the scribes and Pharisees. Some have suggested that Jesus’ writing is a foreshadowing of the Book of Life, the allegorical book in which God records the names and lives of the righteous. Judgement certainly is one of the main themes running through this passage.

Today’s Gospel has often been misused by groups and individuals both outside and within the church to justify actions and lifestyles opposed to the teaching of the Church. However I always find that citing this passage and using the phrase “what would Jesus do?” is a bit of a cop out. To say that Jesus did not judge the women is not true. He does judge the woman. He acknowledges her sin but he does not endorse her actions. In fact he tells her not to sin again!

Nevertheless there is a stark comparison between Jesus’ judgement and the judgement of the Pharisees. The Pharisees are not only quick to condemn this woman but they are also perversely using her and the Law as a means to an end, an opportunity to trick and trap Our Lord.

On the other hand Jesus simply does not condemn the woman. He challenges her. He challenges her to a life without sin. He challenges her to strive to live in holiness. Unlike the Pharisees Jesus confronts a bad life, not with the exclusionary condemnation which is always tempting for those who consider themselves pure and holy. Instead, he confronts it with the challenge of a good life in Him.

Jesus gave the woman a choice: she could return to her sins, or she could embark on a life in the holiness of those liberated through God's grace. Jesus challenged her to have a new life in union with Him. This is the challenge that Christ puts before each and everyone of us every moment of the day.

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Lent Retreat - Week 4, Saturday

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20; John 7:40-52 Read more

Lenten Retreat - Week Four, Feast Of St. Joseph

Friday, March 19, 2010
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Lent Retreat - Week 4, Thursday

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Readings: Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 106; John 5:31-47 Read more

Lent Retreat - Week 4, Wednesday, St Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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