Lord, teach me to be more compassionate and merciful towards others as Jesus has shown me today!
5th Week of Lent : Monday 22nd March 2021
Ps. 22:1-4,5,6; Jn. 8:1-11 (Ps Wk I)
The Gospel accounts frequently describe how Jesus had to face unjust accusations made by the Pharisees, the ruling elders of Israel. They were upset with Jesus’ teaching, and they wanted to discredit him in any way they could.
Jewish law treated adultery as a serious crime since it violated God’s ordinance and wreaked havoc on marriage and family life’s stability. It was one of the three gravest sins punishable by death. If Jesus said that the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery must be pardoned, he would be accused of breaking the law of Moses. If he said the woman must be stoned, he would lose his reputation for being the merciful friend of sinners.
Jesus then does something quite unexpected — he begins to write on the sand. Then he told the accusers to ‘Go ahead and stone her! But let the man who is without sin be the first to cast a stone’. The Lord leaves the matter to their own consciences. The accusers leave the scene without stoning her.
When the adulterous woman is left alone with Jesus, he both expresses mercy and strongly exhorts her to sin no more. God’s grace enables us to confront our sin for what it is — unfaithfulness to God — and to turn back to God with a repentant heart and a thankful spirit for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Do you know the joy of repentance and a clean conscience?
Lord, teach us to be more compassionate and merciful towards others as Jesus has shown us today!