Gospel: Jn 8:1–11
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak Jesus appeared in the temple again. All the people came to him, and he sat down and began to teach them.
Then the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They made her stand in front of everyone. “Master,” they said, “this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now the law of Moses orders that such women be stoned to death; but you, what do you say?” They said this to test Jesus, in order to have some charge against him.
Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. And as they continued to ask him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who has no sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And he bent down, again, writing on the ground.
As a result of these words, they went away, one by one, starting with the elders, and Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing before him. Then Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go away and don’t sin again.”
Laws are crafted to safeguard the well-being of individuals and society at large. It brings in order and guides all on what to do and what not to do to maintain the stability of society. This is fine as long as the interpreters and enforcers of the law have a clean heart. In the hands of those whose hearts are hardened and devoid of love, the law is a fearsome weapon. Just as the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees used the Mosaic Law not only to humiliate and punish the woman caught in adultery, but to trap Jesus as well, so do their modern counterparts seek to use the law to their own perverse advantage. Without a loving heart, the law is a despicable oppressor rather than the refuge of the weak and the disadvantaged. So instead of judging the adulterous woman, Jesus asked the people who were eager to punish her with death to judge themselves by asking them whether they themselves were pure in front of the law. This radically changed the situation. Those who were eager to condemn becomes part of the condemned humanity. Slowly they walked away. We regain our human consciousness once we put ourselves as part of humanity and not above it