Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Lent

"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Popular culture uses the story of the adulterous woman to promote a vision of tolerance and non-judgmentalism. That may feel good, but is it really what Jesus meant to teach us? Yes he does not "condemn" her, but he also tells her "from now on do not sin any more." Sounds like a judgment to me, and an order to boot. In the fantasy world of pop culture, Jesus waves away her, and our, sin as if it never happened. That is denial, not reality. What Jesus offers to her, and us, is true mercy, not the fantasy version. He gives what God delights in giving: a second chance. "See, I am doing something new!" And he also tells the Pharisees, and us, that if we want the grace of that second chance, we must offer it first to our brothers and sisters. No, this is not the easy road of denial and tolerance, but it is the only road that leads to love. So let us do something new for ourselves, and help our siblings to do the same.