Go, and sin no more!
Readings: 1st: Dan 13: 41-62; Ps: 23; Gos: Jn 8:1-11
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
In today’s Gospel, we see the encounter of Jesus with the woman who was going to be stoned. Because of His preaching, Jesus disturbed the religious authority. For this reason, they looked for every opportunity to accuse, and kill Him.
Thus, they brought before Him a woman caught committing adultery. They asked Him, “What is your opinion?” However, it was a trap. If Jesus had said, “apply the Law”, they would have said, He is not a good man, because he supported the killing of the poor woman!” If He had said, “Do not kill her”, they would have said, “He does not even observe the law!”
So, under the appearance of fidelity to God, they manipulated the law, and wanted to use the woman to be able to accuse Jesus. Of course, Jesus did not condemn the woman under the law, because what condemned her already was her sin.
Also, he did not condemn her, because those who were accusing and condemning the woman were not better than her. Did Jesus support the fact that the woman committed adultery? No! Rather than condemn sinners, his mission is to redeem and restore their dignity for the kingdom of God.
A very important lesson for us today is that, this episode reveals that Jesus is the light which makes the truth shine. He opens up the secret that exists in each person. That is, in the intimate depth of each one of us. God knows us very well, we can not hide from him.
In light of Jesus’ word, those who seemed to be the defenders of the law saw themselves full of sin. They recognized their unworthiness, and left with shame without casting any stone at the woman. So, the woman considered to be guilty and deserved to die, stood before God, absolved, redeemed and with her dignity restored.
God is always giving each of a new opportunity. So, after saving the woman Christ told her: “Go, and sin no more.” That means, you have been pardoned, but you must become a better person. This Lent, Christ is saying the same to us.
Peace be with you all!