Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. ~John 8:7
In the Gospel reading from the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Jesus is confronted by a woman who has committed the sin of adultery. This woman is being chased by a mob of people who desire to stone this adulterous woman to death; they themselves not realizing they are considered sinners as well. The people want Jesus to give permission to stone the woman and justify the law that requires punishment.
Jesus' initial silence is deafening until He reminds the people that they are sinners as well. As the crowd leaves resentful and shameful, Jesus shows mercy and compassion to this woman by not condemning her. But he also reminds her to "sin no more."
Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and at the heart of the law is mercy, justice and faith. Do not judge or condemn anyone. Go to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive forgiveness for your sins.
Pray the grace of perseverance on your faith so that you will overcome sin and temptation.
Return to God. Follow Jesus.
Rev. David Edwards
Pastor, St. James Catholic Church