My Dear Friends,
This weekend, Catholic Christians celebrate the 5th Sunday of Lent. On this Sunday, we hear the story of a woman caught in adultery (John 8: 1-11). When scribes and Pharisees brought her to Jesus, they reminded Jesus that Moses commanded that they stone her. To test Jesus, they asked him his opinion about this part of the Law. Jesus began to write on the ground. Though the Scripture does not say what Jesus wrote on the ground, most Bible scholars believe it was the sins of those who had condemned the woman. After writing, Jesus said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He then began writing on the ground again. One by one, the scribes and Pharisees left, leaving only Jesus and the woman. Jesus then 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.”
Even today, more than 2,000 years after Jesus walked the planet Earth, we hear the phrase “Let the one who is without fault, cast the first stone.” The moral of the story is that we should not judge others. And from experience in the confessional, I can tell you that judging others is one of the top faults with which people struggle. Judging teachings and actions is one thing; judging people’s hearts and souls is quite another. As Jesus reminds us, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged” (Matthew 7: 1).
This year, the 5th Sunday of Lent falls in the middle of two special days – the feast of St. Patrick, Apostle to Ireland, and St. Joseph of the Holy Family. Happy feast days!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
– Father Bob