So, Jesus arrives in the temple area and the people are gathering around to hear what he had to say. By now the word is spreading that this man, Jesus, calls himself the Son of God and that he might well be the Savior the Jewish people had been praying for - for centuries. But that did not sit well with everyone; those who were leaders in the town, who held themselves as the authority on both religion and law, had doubts about this man and what he was teaching. We hear many times in the Gospels of how they tested Jesus and this day would be no different.
So these “officials”, the Pharisees, bring and place before Jesus a woman whom they publically announce was caught in the act of adultery. They go on to state that she is, in accordance with the law, to be stoned to death for her actions, as was the custom of the day. But Jesus surprises them all by saying with great authority, “You, who have no sin, cast the first stone.” And then it happened; slowly the people gathered for that public stoning, began to walk away. Can you imagine what that was like for the woman? Can you imagine what she might have feared would be her punishment from Jesus? Then Jesus stands before her and says, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one”, she answers.
“Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, do not sin anymore.” Can you imagine her relief? Can you imagine her joy? And can you imagine she might well return to her life and make better choices – because of the love and mercy shown to her by Jesus.
Do you see how we are both like the woman and how we are also like the people who could cast no stone? We are sinners. Sinners in need of the mercy and love of God who does not condemn us for the ways we fail to love others.
When we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and are forgiven of our sins, we too, can walk away, like the woman and live our lives without sin. To know that we are not condemned is a gift we are given by a God who loves beyond what we can imagine. God knows each of us in a deep and profound way, he knows our hearts and his only desire is that we come to him. “God never ceases to draw man to himself.” CCC 27
Let us seek forgiveness for our sin and let us be grateful to God that we are not condemned, for by the life, death and resurrection of his Son we are saved and reunited with a God who loves and shows mercy beyond our ability to understand. We thank you and we praise you, Lord. Be with us as we go and sin no more.
In thanksgiving to God,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC