March 21, 2010: 5th Sunday of Lent
Some scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” This they said to test him that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let those who are without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:3-7)
This is another familiar gospel story. We know that no one in the crowd threw a stone because no person was “without sin.” So they all went away. Jesus did not stone the woman either. What a powerful story! No sin, however bad, is unforgivable. God loves each of us in spite of our sinfulness. Here we have another story of forgiveness and reconciliation. Whatever this woman did, you can believe that she sensed in Jesus God’s love for her.
Soon we will recall Jesus’ great act of love, his death on the cross. We say that he died because of our sins. Think of his death in this way, he died because of his great love. All that he did in his life was love and care for those in need of healing, forgiveness, life, encouragement. He died because of his goodness! He died because he loved! We may not have the power of Jesus to do all things, but we certainly have the power to LOVE. During the coming week, use your power of LOVE when you meet people who are hurting, discouraged, even those acting in a mean or sinful way.