Pastor’s Desk – Fifth Sunday of Lent

Today we hear how the Scribes and Pharisees bring to Jesus a woman who was caught committing adultery. It’s worth noting that there is no mention of the man who must surely have been caught too. We can only assume that he was allowed to walk freely away. They claim that the law of Moses allowed them to stone the woman to death. Their main interest is hearing what Jesus has to say in the hope they can catch him out in some way and find him guilty.

In the middle of their persistent questioning Jesus looks up and challenges the one who has not sinned to cast the first stone at this unfortunate lady whose sin was now public knowledge. Soon its very obvious that none of them is sinless and free to throw a stone at the woman or indeed criticise her brokenness any more.

We can all be like the scribes and Pharisees from time to time. Often the sins of others, our parents, children, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, partners, colleagues, neighbours etc. are known to us and we can criticise or constantly remind them of their faults and failings. However, we also need to remind ourselves that we are never in a position to criticise or throw stones at them.

The words of Jesus are striking when he says to the woman “has no one condemned you” …”no one sir” is her reply and he adds “neither do I condemn you…go and sin no more”. Jesus restores her to peace and friendship with God.

In this season of Lent, we all have the opportunity to draw closer to the Lord and be healed or relieved of the burden of our own sin and brokenness.

Fr. Gerry