Daniel 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62 ● John 8:1-11
“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. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.”
Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
Once again Jesus refuses to see things as only black or white. His listeners could only imagine two answers: either he would uphold the Law of Moses and condemn the woman, or he would publicly disrespect the law of a revered leader in order to let the woman off. But he finds a way to respect the Law without letting it put boundaries on his compassion and justice.
Is there someone in your life at whom you are tempted to throw stones? If so, ask God for the gift to feel greater compassion for him/her—and for yourself in your own sinfulness.
Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.