Monday of the 5th Week of Lent
“If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Did she sin? – Yes
Did she get caught sinning? – Yes
Was she repentant? – Yes
It does seem like a perfect ending to what might have begun as a less than ideal beginning. Yet many of us are often stuck after the 2nd line and the host of condemnations begin.
We judge the sinner; we condemn the sinner.
The woman in Saint John’s Gospel was caught in the act of committing adultery. I can only imagine a ‘Miami Vice’ manner of the door being broken down and the Pharisees and scribes dragging the lady in front of Jesus to be judged.
Yet, Jesus kept writing on the ground with his finger and kept writing after challenging them to stone her if they had not sinned.
In the age of social media, we make 1 small (sometimes, not so small, mistake) and the whole world judges us. The details of the act often goes viral and we are left with judgements of all sorts flying around. It becomes fodder for our gossip.
But sometimes, what appears to be a sin; might not really be a sin. Even if was a sin, it’s the sin of the individual and do we really understand the circumstances?
Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of my dad’s, who was widowed and remarried. He shared how there was a whole host of gossip going around behind his back:
“Wah, his wife isn’t even cold in her grave and he’s remarrying”.
“His new wife, what’s her story? She’s not young, there must be a ‘story’”.
Only the new couple and those very close to them know the true circumstances surrounding their new union. Is anyone really a ‘sinner’ here? Yet we judge, without knowing all the circumstances.
I have often had to remind myself to consider the pain of someone lost in such a situation of sin. Having to abstain from certain sacraments, not being in full communion with the church.
That couple was blessed not to be in such a situation, but what about those who are? I sometimes try to put myself in a similar situation and ask myself how would I cope.
For most of us who are not in a similar situation, we pray for those who are. We pray that circumstances change, and that they may be in full communion with the church.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gerard Francis)
Prayer: We pray for those in situations which do not allow them to be in full communion with the church. We pray that as we try to identify with their pain and we refrain from judging.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for our Catholic faith, which teaches us how to live a more humane and God-centred life.
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