Preparing for Mass

April 07, 2019 by Deacon Michael Houtchen

Gospel John 8:1-11

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 anymore.”

Could you have thrown a stone?

I couldn’t.  Jesus knows I can’t, for I have sinned.  If the only person who could throw a stone had to be sinless, then no one could, for we’ve all sinned.  Jesus was pretty sharp.  The scribes and the Pharisees were trying to trap Him, but He turned it back on them.  This woman had been caught, red-handed, in a sinful act.  That’s true.  Most of us aren’t caught red-handed, but we know we’ve sinned, and Jesus knows we’ve sinned.  So, who are we to throw stones?

In my mind, a stone can also be judging someone.  In other words, if I judge you, is that not the same thing as throwing a stone?  From experience, it can hurt just as bad.  What did Jesus say?  “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  I say, “Stone not, lest ye be stoned.”  The next time you want to stone someone, ask yourself, am I without sin?  If you can truly say yes, then by all means, pick up that stone.  But, I doubt you’ll be able to.