In today’s Gospel passage from John 8, we read the story of the woman caught in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees bring the woman before Jesus, telling Him that the law says that she must be stoned. They ask Jesus, “What do you say?” And Jesus answers with that most famous reply.
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The elders, the scribes and the Pharisees all walked away, one by one. They knew that they had been punked. Of course, Jesus’ message was one of mercy. After they had all left, Jesus says to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
We can be so quick to condemn. While I acknowledge that there is certainly evil in the world, I believe that most people are just doing their best to get by. This is not to say that sinning is okay. But I have found that just about everyone has some justification for their sins – me included. Before we go casting stones, perhaps we should remember the actions of Jesus, especially in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Show mercy, and encourage our brethren to go and sin no more.
Father, teach us mercy. Help us to not be so quick to throw stones. Give us the grace to own up to our own actions, and to have mercy on others who share our struggles. Amen.
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