The Readings today remind us of what it means to trust in God’s justice and mercy. The First Reading is about a woman who was falsely accused of adultery. When she was about to be sentenced she prayed to God: O eternal God, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they come to be; you know that these men have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have charged against me. God heard her and as she was being led for execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of Daniel who questioned the witnesses. The witnesses were revealed to be false and they were put to death instead.
In the Gospel, we see a woman who was caught in the very act of committing adultery. She was silent, she did not plead for her life. Instead, she just stood before Jesus, waiting for what he would say. Jesus did not ignore her sin. Instead, he told those who were there let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. With this, Jesus forced the accusers to look at themselves. Many misunderstood this as Jesus accepting whatever one does. Jesus did not question their judgment. He questioned their sentence. They condemned the woman to death, and for Jesus, this was the main issue.
We all need to make judgments. But we cannot condemn a person to hell. Jesus said bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. Cursing others is already a sentence against them, most of the time, wishing something bad against a person or the worst is wishing them to hell. We do not curse people, when they have done evil things. We can judge their actions, but we cannot give sentence.
So we should not think we are so evil or have done something evil that God cannot forgive us. When God forgives, he does not ignore the sin, he wipes away the punishment due to the sin. In the First Reading, the falsely accused woman was not forgiven because she did not sin. She was given justice. In the Gospel, the woman was accused but Jesus commuted the sentence when he said: neither do I condemn you. Go your way and from now on do not sin again.
So if you think you have sinned and have done things that are evil before God, or if you think there is no forgiveness for you, or God will never love you, look at the mercy of God. He calls us to recognize our sin AND not to sin again. When we have that desire to turn away from our sin and turn to God, he will judge us so he can forgive our sin, but he will not condemn us.
Lord, I am here to seek you. I know I am a sinner. I know I have gravely sinned against you. But I trust in your mercy, that instead of condemning me, you will forgive me. Save me Lord, for I am weak and cannot conquer my sin. I trust you Lord, Jesus.