5th Sunday of Lent
The Pharisees who brought a woman to Jesus may never have thought that their own sins were crystal clear to this man, Jesus. Could they ever imagine he is the Lord of mind and heart, body and soul! They tried to test Jesus by mere human understanding. Jesus through his divine power mirrored the folly of their own life. They could not face that. Quietly they went away one by one. Jesus’ reaction to the sinners consoles us. He came for sinners; not to condemn them but to save, and that is his goal here.
The results of the encounter was likely to be a conversion of heart, a new life, a renewed person, faithful and loving God. Perhaps she became an instrument for the conversion of others. Instead, if the Pharisees had stuck to the law she would have been stoned to death, a cruel, wretched death. Her blood would have been crying for mercy. Besides, her accomplice in sin and her executioners would have committed another crime. Jesus averted that and gave a new approach to the old problem-conversion and compassion. He continues to tell us, ‘sin no more.’ Jesus throws these words (not stones) to us today to make us aware that we too are in need of repentance and reconciliation. We are in need of God’s mercy.
Once St. Paul (Phil. 3: 8-14) came to the grip of Jesus he considered everything else garbage. What is really important and of value is knowing Christ and following Christ. To know Christ better was the goal in life for Paul. So he compares himself to a runner. Jesus is worth running for. He is more desirable than all earthly prizes. It is an important point for us. God is calling us to further growth, to deeper conversion, and to more identification with Christ. We need a clearer awareness that we all are on a life-long journey of conversion and growth. First important step, and Jesus’ message today is say no to sin.