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.”
In this reading, Jesus teaches us many lessons by the way he handled the situation with the adulterous woman and the crowd, which was ready to persecute her. Jesus teaches us, by his words and actions, how to treat others and even ourselves – not to judge, to forgive and to give others another chance.
Jesus does not judge us.
Jesus did not condemn the woman, nor does he condemn or judge us. So why do we judge others and are even so hard on ourselves? Why do we feel we can cast a stone? Why do we not accept ourselves and others as unique, beautiful children of God?
Jesus forgives us.
Jesus forgives our sins just like he forgave the adulterous woman of her sins. So many times we cannot seem to forgive and hold grudges for a long time. You may even punish yourself. Do you forgive yourself and others for wrong doings?
Jesus gives us another chance.
With forgiveness comes the reminder to sin no more. We get another opportunity to choose a better way – to live with Christ and follow his ways of love instead of sin. It is our choice. Do we give ourselves and others another chance? Do we prefer to remember the wrongdoing and punish ourselves or others, over and over again?
Try to be an observer of your life, your thoughts and behaviors. Watch what you say, how you say it and why you say it. Make it your intention to please God, to sin no more and to be grateful for life as it is.