A reading from the gospel according to John 8:1-11:
1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them.
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
4 They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.
5 Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
6 They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
7 But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
9 And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.
10 Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
Reflection: A New Beginning
The bible says that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Therefore we all deserved to be stoned or to receive the heaviest punishment. Yet we are so quick to see others being punished while we want to go scot free. We want to see fairness in the world but we ourselves are unfair.
Our gospel reading above once again shows us our need to be compassionate to others because God has been compassionate to us. Indeed, the woman committed sin and without a doubt, she needed to face the consequences of her action. The laws must be applied to all including her. She must have accepted her fate. Yet when she was brought to Jesus, she experienced not condemnation but forgiveness and a new beginning.
An encounter with Jesus is always a moment of transformation. Meek and humble as He is, even the mighty are put to shame. Look at the scribes and Pharisees who wanted to stone the adulterous woman. They were too eager to apply the law of Moses but they themselves were condemned by their own lack of righteousness. On the other hand, the woman who deserved to die in shame was forgiven and allowed to go home with her dignity restored.
With Jesus, another chance at life is given to sinners like you and me. Indeed, there is hope in Jesus!