Sunday, April 7, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Jesus writes new rules for life in the venerable Jerusalem dust.
Jesus enjoys an early morning walk from the Mount of Olives to the Temple. The weather, no doubt, was typically beautiful since others easily gathered and sat around Jesus to hear his teaching.
But the Pharisees, vigilant for an opportunity to condemn Jesus, executed a mean-hearted plot.
Dragging a woman “caught in the act of adultery” before the encircled men, they demanded Jesus’s judgment of the distraught woman.
Imagine the woman’s terror. Her poverty and loneliness have already forced her into an ignoble commerce. Had she the chance, she surely would have chosen an easier life.
Now, her meager quarters have been broken into, her privacy invaded in the most intimate of circumstances. Her adulterous accomplice has either turned her in, or absconded in cowardice. She is surrounded by brutal accusers, many of whom are likely her former customers.
But Jesus sees the woman, not her sin. He responds to her heart not her actions. He also sees these evil, plotting men and responds to their veiled motivations.
Wouldn’t we love to know what Jesus scribbled in the Temple dirt as these blood-thirsty hypocrites hung over him?
Might it have been the names of those who also visited the woman on earlier nights?
Might it have been some of their hidden sins?
Challenged to cast the first stone if they were sinless, the plotters slowly slink away. Jesus is left to forgive and heal this suffering woman.
Jesus tells her to go and sin no more, to -as the first reading says – “remember not the things of the past”. Jesus has made her into a new person by the power of his mercy.
May that renewing mercy touch us, and our world, where we sorely need it.
May it flow through our renewed hearts to everyone we encounter, no matter the circumstances.
Music: Remember Not the Things of the Past – Bob Hurd