Fr. Aidan Peter Writes:
Hypocrisy is a really poor show, but we are all prone to it. Many people say they don’t go to church because it is full of hypocrites. Well that is the point! That’s partly why we go…because we are! People think of Christians as being hypocritical because we say that we love each other and yet sin all the time; usually by not loving each other one way or another. Today’s gospel brings this before us very clearly. The so called good folk bring the adulterous woman to be judged and then stoned before Jesus. Jesus does what any good teacher does with this kind of person, he lets them play out enough rope to make a noose for themselves!
In this, on one level, comic scene, Jesus toys with the self-righteous ones by ignoring their rants whilst he doodles in the sand. When they have all gone away, he then has a very compassionate encounter with the woman. Indeed this is his conversation with us in the sacrament of forgiveness. Jesus is not here to condemn us (in another part of the gospel he tells us that we have done that to ourselves) and he tells the woman this, but he also tells her to sin no more…to change her ways. This is all done lovingly and without harshness. Perhaps you might ponder this and make use of the sacrament of confession at the reconciliation service this week. Don’t be afraid, Jesus is waiting for you and is not condemning but calling you to healing.