Celebrating the Fifth Sunday of Lent

"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

This week's Gospel is from St. John, 8:1-11 and is about the woman caught in adultery.


"The two of them were left on their own, the wretched woman and Mercy. But the Lord, having smitten them with the dart of injustice, does not even deign to watch them go but turns his gaze away from them and once more writes on the ground with his finger. But when the woman was left alone and they had all gone, he lifted up his eyes to the woman. We have already heard the voice of justice; let us now hear the voice of gentleness. I think that woman was the more terrified when she heard the Lord say, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,' . . . fearing now that she would be punished by him, in whom no sin could be found. But he, who had driven away her adversaries with the tongue of justice, now looking at her with the eyes of gentleness, asks her, 'Has no one condemned you?' She replies, 'No one, Lord.' And he says, 'Neither do I condemn you; I who perhaps you feared would punish you, because in me you have found no sin.' Lord, can it be that you favour sinners? Assuredly not. See what follows: 'Go and sin no more.' Therefore, the Lord also condemned sin, but not the woman' (St Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 33, 5-6).


Jesus, who is the just One, does not condemn the woman; whereas these people are sinners, yet they pass sentence of death. God's infinite mercy should move us always to have compassion on those who commit sins, because we ourselves are sinners and in need of God's forgiveness.


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By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, you Son handed himself over to death.

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