John 8:1-11: Adultery
Again today we hear a story with familiar characters who give us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves. We are accustomed to thinking of adultery as an intimate relationship outside of marriage. In our Lenten journey, the Gospel invites us to consider what other ways we adulterate our lives. We might ask what impurity or weakness have we added to our actions or to our character that moves us away from the hope for the world that God created in us. When we use the scripture link to read other translations of this familiar story, we might listen for the newness that creeps into our understanding of ourselves, others, and of Jesus. Why is it that Jesus does not condemn this woman? Where is the man who accompanied her in this act? Where is the angry crowd? Is the woman guilty? What happens to her after her encounter with Jesus? And what happens to us when we consider all the times we have watered down the goodness and mercy planted in us? When and how have we adulterated our lives?
The religious scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
We ask ourselves. Whom do we most closely resemble, those in the crowd or the one who stands condemned? And can we see ourselves as the forgiving Jesus?
Does no one condemn you? Neither do I. Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.
To learn more about this story, use the scripture link to compare versions, click on the image above or visit: http://www.womeninthebible.net/2.7.Adulterous_woman.htm
For Aicha el-Wafi and Phyllis Rodriguez’ Ted Talk on forgiveness, click on the image below or go to: https://www.ted.com/talks/9_11_healing_the_mothers_who_found_forgiveness_friendship
For more stories like these, visit The Forgivness Project at: http://theforgivenessproject.com/stories/ Consider becoming involved with this or a similar initiative to bring peace to our world and to stem the violence that adulterates our lives.
Today we begin this week’s Lenten practice. Rather than thinking: “I will set all things right in God’s kingdom,” let us think instead, “I will strive each day to follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness, mercy and love”.
Tomorrow, missing God.