1989 March 12th – 5th Sun Lent (Bulletin Letters)
Jn 8, 1 – 11
LAST WEEKS PARABLE IS THIS WEEKS STORY: Last week’s Parable of the Prodigal Son showed us God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. This week Jesus shows us how that unconditional love and forgiveness works.
St. John’s account of the woman caught in adultery is one of the most dramatic moments in all the Gospels. Jesus is confronted by a frightened woman, an angry crowd and the Law. The woman is caught in adultery. The Law says she should be stoned. The crowd wants Jesus to decide. Should she be stoned? Yes or No?
“Let the person among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her,” says Jesus. Those wel1-selected words defused the tense situation, stripped the Law of its naked power, put a face on every person in the crowd, and saved the life of a woman caught up in sin. Laws are often blind, knowing justice but not mercy. People act and think differently in crowds. An angry crowd is a collection of faceless people carried away by its own mentality. When you combine the blindness of the Law with the faceless mentality of the crowd, the individual person is lost.
Jesus refused to be caught up in the crowd mentality. He would not let the Law’s justice be the last word. Face to face with an individual caught in sin, Jesus showed mercy, for mercy is at the heart of the Gospel message. As for the sin of adultery, no punishment is necessary. Like all sin, it carries its own punishment.
89 03 12 Reform SEX, JESUS AND THE CHURCH: Too often the Church gives undue emphasis to a few sexual matters at the expense of the larger Catholic social and ethical tradition. Catholic moral certitude is much broader than the few sexual objective truths that are given so much attention. Why does the Church seem surer of itself on birth control than on Nuclear weapons? How is it that the Church can push for a constitutional amendment to stop abortions but not do the same to stop Capital punishment? The Church would be better served by following the example of Jesus who saves most of his harsh words and condemnations for the rich and the powerful while extending a merciful hand to those caught up in immoral sexual conduct.
89 03 12 Pastorial EASTER TRIDUUM: Easter is just two short weeks away. Sunday is Palm Sunday and the week to follow is Holy Week. The full Easter Triduum (Celebration) included the Holy Thursday and Good Friday services. I strongly urge you to make every effort to attend the Holy Thursday and Good Friday services to round off your Lenten to Easter journey.