While teaching at the temple in Jerusalem, a group of scribes and Pharisees claim to have caught a woman in the act of committing adultery. The accused woman is standing in the midst of the group. They ask Jesus, addressing him as “Teacher,” what they should do with her, reminding him that the Law of Moses proscribes death by stoning. Jesus responds with the inspired judgment, “Let anyone who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” The entire group of accusers leave the temple singly, leaving Jesus alone with the adulteress. He tells her that he does not condemn her, but that she should “go away, and from now on, do not sin again.” (Easier said than done. I would like to believe that the woman realizes that she has been spared, miraculously, by God’s love and does change her ways.)
We are vividly reminded these days of Jesus’ illuminating words against proscribed cruel punishments by the beheadings, immolations, stoning and mass executions committed in the guise of “devout religion.” Let us pray for God’s peace, love, and grace to prevail.
Monday, March 14, 2016