Gospel Reading for March 17, 2013

Gospel – John 8:1-11
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
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?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

What a beautiful Gospel before our communal penance service! Sometimes we can feel like our sins are so heavy that we deserve to be brought before our Lord in judgment, just like the Pharisees brought this woman before Christ. But He does not want to judge us. He wants to forgive us. He wants us to come to him because we love Him. He does not want us to condemn each other either. He doesn’t want us to point out each others’ faults, but instead he wants us to pray for one another. And through the sacrament of Reconciliation, he can give us the grace of forgiveness and absolution.


    So clear your schedule to go to the penance service on Tuesday evening or whenever it is at your church and receive that beautiful sacrament! And take your children with you! Even if they can’t yet participate, they can see how much you want to be close to Christ and you will inspire them to follow your example!

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