The scribes and Pharisees do not care about the woman caught in adultery. They do not care about her sin. If they actually cared about the adultery, the man she sinned with would be there too. They do not really care whether this woman gets punished or forgiven. They only want to trap Jesus. They want Jesus to say something against the Law of Moses that they can use to attack him. When it becomes clear that their scheme will not work, they leave Jesus and the woman. She has merely been their tool for a failed task. Now she is left alone with Jesus. Jesus neither denies the woman’s sin nor withholds his mercy. He says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on sin no more.”
Jesus does not deny the truth. What the woman has done is wrong and it needs to end. But Jesus encounters her with love. We need to be the same way with the persons in our lives. Sharing the truth without love is repulsive. Who can embrace the truth when served with a sour taste? On the other hand, loving someone without sharing important truths is an imperfect love. We each have the duty to share the truth seasoned with love.
Like many of you, I am very happy concerning our new Holy Father. Pope Francis is a pleasant gift. He is an interesting and refreshing character who seems very holy. He comes to us from Argentina and is the first pope from Latin America, where more than forty-one percent of world’s Catholics live. One of my hopes is that Pope Francis will renew the Catholic faith there and here. Sometimes Catholicism can be widely present but not deeply held. Many claim our Faith but neglect to live lives moved by it.
I am honored to come here to celebrate Mass for few or for many and I am happy to do it. But how many people do you know that are absent from Mass? Invite them lovingly to come to the Mass here in the special weeks ahead. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, which includes the reading of the Passion. And in two weeks is Easter Sunday, the most important of all Christian celebrations.
The scribes and Pharisees did not care about the sinning woman. Let’s be unlike them. Let us help the people in our lives with love, truth, and the invitation of Jesus Christ to the sacraments in his Church.