Day 4 - Conversion

A man with a stone in his hands

Day 4 - listen here

 

John 8:3-11

The scribes and the Pharisees lead [in] a woman who had been detected in adultery. And standing her in the middle, they say to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was detected in the act [of] committing adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone women like this. So – what do you say?’… But Jesus bent down, and with his finger drew figures on the ground. But as they persisted [in] asking him, he straightened himself and said, ‘Let the Sinless One of you be the first to throw a stone at her.’

And again he bent down and wrote on the ground. But they heard, and they went out, one by one, beginning from the elders. And he was left alone, and the woman who was in the middle. And Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ And she said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go - and from now on, sin no longer.

Reflection

When we imagine this Gospel scene, it may be easy to imagine ourselves in the place of the woman caught in adultery, and we probably have no trouble filling in the faces of our accusers who are ready to heave a stone or two in our direction. But that scenario is too easy. The challenge of the Gospel is whether we can see ourselves not as the woman who is caught in adultery, but as the man who is caught up in forgiveness. Can we forgive as readily as Jesus forgives? Or do we dote on people’s wrongdoing, reminding them of past failures, and lighting votive candles to their mistakes? Can we forgive and leave it? We can spend time wondering whether God can really forgive without hoarding the hurt. God’s track record on forgiveness is clear: God’s had lots of practice and God is good at it. How about our track record?

Christ sits on the ground and looks at the woman and the people bringing her to be stoned.

Prayer

Feelings of guilt are like roadblocks:

they prevent us from advancing on the road of faith and love.

Jesus takes away these roadblocks

and tells us, “I do not condemn you.”

Forgiven,

we are called to forgive and to liberate others from their prisons of guilt.

Forgiveness is the road to peace.

Help me, Lord, to be an instrument of your peace and forgiveness.

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