In today’s Gospel the Pharisees test Jesus. They bring to Him a woman accused of adultery. According to Mosaic law, such an offense results in the stoning of the woman. So, the Pharisees, looking to convict Jesus, put forth this quandary before Him. It is wrong to kill (a violation of the 5th Commandment), but it is also wrong to commit adultery (a violation of the 6th Commandment). Do two wrongs make it right? Rather than answering their implied question, Jesus starts writing in the sand. No biblical scholars ever ascertained what Jesus wrote, but whatever it was, it caused everyone to depart, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. Jesus asks the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)
Forgiven, Not Condemned
The woman responded that no one condemned her. Jesus then responds to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8:11) It is here that Jesus shows us how to rectify a bad situation and not break a Commandment. No one kills her, via a stoning in accordance with Mosaic law, so the 5th Commandment is not violated. Jesus forgives the woman for the transgressions that violated the 6th Commandment.
In this story, God is trying to convey that no matter what we have done, He is ready to forgive us of our sins. Can you relate to this story? Is there something from your past for which you feel you have been condemned by others? If so, seek the sacrament of Reconciliation and make things right with God. He is in the confessional now, waiting on your arrival. He is ready to forgive you like He forgave to woman in today’s Gospel.
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