Christ’s Forgiveness of an adulteress is our model of mercy
THE JEWS were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles or Tents, in the Holy City. That meant that a large number of people from all over the world were there, living in booths and tents in memory of the time their ancestors wandered homeless with Moses in the desert. It would naturally be a time of great public excitement and an occasion in which some immorality might occur.
Early on the last morning of the feast some of the Jews brought a woman taken in adultery and led her to the spot in the Temple where Jesus was teaching. They were so anxious to make her sin public that they rudely broke into His instruction. It is certain that they were not there only because of zeal for the Law or morality.
When they pressed Jesus for a decision, how kindly and thoughtfully He acted! He did not name their sins in order to confound them; He allowed them to confound themselves by suggesting that the one among them without sin cast the first stone. They began to depart after that until, as Saint Augustine says, only the two remained-misery and mercy, the woman and Christ. The tender way in which Christ then dismisses her shows us that charity and grace are stronger than punishments in preventing wrong-doing and that there is no sin He will not pardon for the repentant sinner.
But we are not always so forgiving. With our tempers we may have stoned a fellow worker or neighbor for his or her sins.
Christ’s forgiveness of an adulteress is our model of mercy.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print.