Our Gospel this week is almost pure comedy were it not for the fact that sin and miss-applied legalism was involved. It is also a perfect example of how to teach. What Jesus wrote on the ground has always been open to conjecture and many a commentator has given their take on it. Here’s mine. He was doodling! He was feigning a lack of interest to give time for the point, “whosoever is without sin can cast the first stone”, to sink in and take effect! The irony is that in the end the woman is left standing in front of him alone; He who is the one without sin and had the Mosaic Law right to cast the first stone… doesn’t. Jesus simply offers complete and enfolding mercy and the advice to “sin no more”. I often think when I am examining my conscience before the Lord that he is there doodling in the sand waiting for me to get it right and sorted out and refocused. Then he looks up at me, all knowing, all loving, all merciful, “off you go again Aidan and try to get it right this time”. The perfect teacher letting me “come to my senses” like the younger son in last week’s Gospel.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who organized and were involved in the 32 Vigil for Mercy and peace. It was well attended throughout the whole period and many, many people availed themselves of the sacraments and spent time in prayer. I’m sure individuals and the parish will receive blessings for this marathon of prayer. I heard from a diocesan source that our mercy year program is exemplary. My only cheeky reply was, “that’s because we are”! (But we are truly humble about it!)
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ