The Pharisees, in today’s Gospel, brought a woman who was caught in adultery to be stoned for her terrible act.
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?’… Jesus began writing on the ground and then said in reply, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”… Gradually one by one the Pharisees left, leaving only Jesus with the woman. When Jesus then asked if anyone condemned her, she said no. Jesus answered, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore. (John 8: 4, 5, 7, 11)
Last night was the Lenten Penance Service, where we all had the opportunity to go to confession after examining our consciences last Sunday. How did it go? Did you go through each Commandment and confess your sins? How did you feel after leaving the confessional?
The today’s Gospel, Jesus calls out the sinners and they leave gradually one by one as they know they are sinners themselves. We also know and acknowledge we are sinners and need to go to confession regularly. If you went to confession last night, how are you going to be different today since you’re starting with a clean slate? Will you keep your gossip to yourself today about something that happened over the weekend? Will you talk to the kid who eats lunch by himself? Will you offer food/money to the homeless man on the street corner? Will you keep your cool instead of talking back to your parents? Start today as a new day. Instead of falling back into your old habits and sins, be conscientious of your every word and action today, so that new and good habits can be formed to draw you closer to God and to sin no more.
Then later tonight as you lie down for bed, take a few minutes to reflect on your day:
- How did it go?
- Was it hard to not fall back into the trap of your old habits?
- How did you act Christ-like?
As you ponder these questions, plan for when you will go to confession next. I try to go once a month. If you currently only go twice a year at Christmas and Easter, try to go every other month. As Jesus said in today’s Gospel,
Go, and from now on do not sin anymore. (John 8:11)