March 13, 2016: Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8:1-11)
Every time I read this Gospel I find myself wondering two things. “Why was the woman the only one charged with adultery?” and “What did Jesus write on the dusty ground?” How would you answer those questions? What might the reasons be?
Be alone in Jesus’ presence, as this woman was. Speak to him of your struggles to live as he would have you live. Hear him say to you, “I do not condemn you. Go … sin no more.”
Thank you! At my parish’s council meeting last evening, while discussing the Gospel, the same two questions were raised. We didn’t have answers. As we reflect, especially in this year of mercy, how GREAT is the GIFT of God’s forgiveness!!
Thanks, Marilyn. I suspect we’ll find the answers only in heaven, but the questions do lead to a good discussion, don’t you think?
I am so glad that we do not have to publicly declare our sins before our congregation!
But at the same time, are we convinced of Jesus mercy for us?!
Tracey’s Uncle John in Duluth, MN
Thanks, Tracey’s Uncle John. Good question you pose as well! The Gospels are so full of Jesus being merciful, that I hope we can be more and more convinced as we reflect on them and on our own experiences of mercy from all kinds of sources.
Dear Sister Ann,
Yesterday, Friday, we had adoration at St.Michael’s Greenfield, along with Priests hearing our confessions. As I was leaving Church last night, I thought of this gospel and Jesus saying, “Go, and sin no more.” At that moment, I felt his words and encouragement. This morning, as I read your reflection, I wanted to share my experience. Thank you! What a beautiful example of forgiveness Jesus gave us!
Thanks, Janet, for sharing your special moment experience as well.