Living the Gospel – April 7, 2019

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The account of the Woman Caught in Adultery is one of the most dramatic and powerful events included in the Gospels. It is a familiar story and we can easily ‘tune out’ when it is proclaimed or read, but if we give it our full attention, ask for the Spirit to open our minds and guide our thoughts as we reflect on it, we can discover many lessons to be learned.

In the beginning of the account, Jesus is in the temple area, and many people start coming to him to be taught. But it didn’t take long for him to be interrupted by the Pharisees who brought a woman caught in adultery. Pause and Ponder: Did Jesus send the Pharisees away and say come back later when I am not busy and I will discuss the situation with you?. No, He gave us an example of being open and attentive to the people who approach us. Do we follow His example??

The Pharisees spoke to Jesus in a very accusing way. They said ‘this woman was caught in adultery and the law says she should be stoned. What do you say, Jesus?’ Pause and Ponder: Did Jesus condemn her publicly and say you knew the law and you broke it? No, He gave us an example of approaching others with gentleness and kindness, sincerely trying to understand the situation. Do we follow His example?

Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger and the Pharisees continued asking him what should happen to her. Pause and Ponder: Did Jesus immediately criticize the woman and the Pharisees? No, He spoke in a calm way and said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He spoke to people in a kind, thought-provoking way. Do we blurt out the first words that come to our mind? Or do we follow His example?

After the men left, Jesus asked the woman, ‘Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.’ Pause and Ponder: Did Jesus condemn the woman and humiliate her in front of others? No. He waited until they were alone and then encouraged her to change her way of life. Do we publicly criticize people? Or do we follow His example?

As we continue our spiritual Lenten journey, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide our reading and thinking so that we can more fully follow Jesus’ example.

We can’t do it on our own!!

Peg Orzel