Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Reading 1 Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
Gospel Jn 8:1-11
Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."
The Scriptures today tell a tale of two women, both accused of adultery but one innocent and the other guilty. The innocent woman hoped and appealed to the God of JUSTICE: But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be: you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me" and she was vindicated.The guilty woman lay silent; she knew the law, she broke it and knew the price to pay; dare she to hope at all, appeal to whom and for what? On that day however she encountered the God of MERCY.
"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And with that they left, one by one, so that she stood alone before the only sinless one who could actually cast the first stone, but she received new life instead of death.
Justice gives us what we deserve, mercy gives what we do not deserve and both justice and mercy have their origin in the heart of God. For this we should be eternally thankful.
I hope this Lent we encounter the God who is both just and merciful, whose love for sinful humanity (us) led him to the Cross. My sins condemn me as I stand before Him but mercifully He does not.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.