In today’s readings, we see the stories of two women who are about to be killed. In the first reading from Daniel, we see the story of Susanna. Two wicked men falsely accuse her of a crime punishable by death. But their falsehoods are revealed by Daniel. It really is a magnificent story, one that reads like an action novel. Be sure to check it out. The end will leave you cheering. In the Gospel from John 8, we read the story of the woman caught in adultery.
This offense, too, is punishable by death. Death by stoning. So the scribes and Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus and ask what should be done with her. According to the law of Moses, she should be put to death. And Jesus utters those famous words…”Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” The interesting thing is that, as this verse has been quoted by so many, a key part of the story is often left out. Jesus says to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. No go, and sin no more.” Jesus acknowledges the fact that the woman did, indeed, sin.
This is a great story about how our God is a God of second chances. God is always willing to let us start over again. That is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. We come to God, through the ministry of the Church, acknowledging our sinfulness and remorse. And God does not condemn. Quite the opposite. He forgives. But the last words of Jesus come into play as well. We must be resolute in our efforts to sin no more. Because if we’re not, we’re just mocking God.
Father, we’re sorry for our sins. Give us a spirit of repentance, and a firm resolve to sin no more. Amen.