John 8: 1-11
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning He arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to Him,
and He sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to Him,
"Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?"
They said this to test Him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against Him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger.
But when they continued asking Him,
He straightened up and said to them,
"Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again He bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So He was left alone with the woman before Him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
"Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?"
She replied, "No one, sir."
Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more."
No one but God has the power or authority to condemn us, but the fear of being condemned by those around us can impact us greatly. We base our decisions on what we think will make us accepted. And sometimes we will even sacrifice our morals if they are unpopular. The woman in today’s Gospel was mocked in regards to her sin, and but so often we find ourselves being judged for fighting to do what is right.
It is impossible to please everyone. When we are aiming to please the world, we are not aiming to please God. When we seek Him, the rest will fall into place. This means that sometimes we will not be accepted, but that is a risk of presenting the Truth. More than anyone, Christ understands what it feels like to be mocked and tortured for the sake of righteousness. We have no control over how others react. Our responsibility lies in choosing to live as God has intended for us. His judgment is the only one that matters.
Just as He freed the woman who committed adultery, Christ chooses to free us from condemnation as well. In accepting this gift of freedom, we must also not condemn our neighbors. We remember in today’s Gospel that “they went away one by one.” What if the first person had not left? Would the rest have stayed as well? What would you have done? Today, chose to not judge or condemn, but chose to do good. Don’t wait for the initiation of someone else. Be an example of courage and faith.