Malvern Minute – Monday
Malvern Minute

 

April 3, 2017 – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.”

 
Reflect: Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. We can be quick to throw stones at others. We can be quick to judge and condemn. Just as Jesus’ words shook to the core of the scribes and Pharisees, maybe we need to pay heed, as well. The elders of the people were justified, based on the Mosaic Law, in stoning the woman caught in adultery. But the mercy of God intervened. Jesus challenges the elders as well as the woman to be aware of their own sin so that they can welcome the mercy of God. This doesn’t mean that Jesus ignored the sins of the people he encounters in the gospel passage. To the woman he says, “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” Some commentaries suggest that Jesus was writing on the ground the sins of the scribes and Pharisees. In recognizing their sins, the elders dropped their stones, released their accusations and walked away. Perhaps the challenge for us today is to pray for the grace to recognize and repent for our own sins, and to let Jesus judge the sins of others. Unless, of course, we are perfect and without sin; then we can throw stones at others. Who among us is without sin?

Questions: How do I find myself judging and condemning others?  Do I seek the mercy of Jesus? In discovering the mercy of Jesus, do I desire to extend it to others?

Pray: Loving God, be merciful for I have sinned. Give me a heart of repentance and a willingness to extend your love and mercy to those I encounter today. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Have mercy on me, O God, for people assail me; they fight me all day long and oppress me.

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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