(John 8: 1-11) Whenever we don’t understand God’s ways, we need only look to Jesus for confirmation. While the Pharisees in this week’s Gospel are bent on justice, Jesus demonstrates that His mercy far surpasses justice. The woman caught in adultery is made to face her sin, as we all must do. But Jesus knows that public humiliation by her accusers and even the possibility of being stoned to death will likely not compel her to change, to repent of her ways. Fear and guilt can only take us so far.
Ultimately, we must know that we are loved. Does this mean that we don’t call someone out when it’s obvious that they’ve fallen into sin? No, it is precisely because we do care for them that we must speak up, to let that friend know that we don’t want them to continue doing what will only lead to pain and suffering. A true friend doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – a true friend tells you what you need to hear.
Others may be ready to condemn us, but our Lord is a just judge who understands our weaknesses and temptations. In the end, when we meet Him face to face, no one will accuse us except ourselves. Our actions – the way we’ve lived our lives – are the proof of what’s really in our hearts. Experiencing the love of Christ cannot leave us unchanged – in fact, it is at times the only thing that compels us to leave our sinful ways. That knowledge, that experience of unconditional love has been known to change the heart of even the vilest sinner or the most hardened criminal.
– Kelley Holy