Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop
Neither do I condemn you. (John 8:11)
Imagine you’re in a courtroom, listening to a case. You hear all the witnesses and observe the evidence. There’s no doubt in your mind that the accused is guilty—the criminal was even caught red-handed. How would you react if the judge decided to let the criminal go free? You’d be shocked!
This is exactly what Jesus does in today’s Gospel. Some scribes and Pharisees catch a woman in adultery, bring her to Jesus, and in accordance with the Jewish Law, plan to stone her. What do you think? they ask. But Jesus, seeing right through them, flips the spotlight from her to them. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
These pointed words remind us that we all are sinners. Like the scribes and Pharisees in the Gospels, we too can forget this fundamental truth. But Jesus is clear: this woman is just as precious and valuable to God as we are. She should be forgiven just as fully as we have been. There is no difference in Jesus’ eyes, and there should be no difference in ours as well.
God wants us to treat everyone with the same dignity, respect, and honor that Jesus showed this woman. Rather than cast the first stone, he asks us to open our arms. Rather than talk to him about other people’s sins, he urges us to repent of our own. And rather than try to trick him or look for loopholes in his commandments, he calls us to spend our energy trying to follow him unconditionally. This is the only way we will grow and prosper in the Lord. After all, the Church isn’t a club to which only some are invited. Everyone is warmly invited. Everyone needs forgiveness and healing, and that’s exactly what the Church is for. That’s exactly what he came for!
So whether we consider ourselves worthy or unworthy of God’s love, let’s come to the Lord and ask for a taste of his mercy so that we can extend the gift of his open heart to everyone we meet, saint and sinner alike!
“Lord, give me a soft heart, just like yours. You forgive all of my sins; help me to be just as generous as you are with showing mercy.”~WAU