Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites. The woman caught in the act of adultery is brought before Jesus. According to Mosaic law her sentence is sentence is death by stoning. Instead of rebuking her Jesus turns the world upside down on these pharisees and says, “let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Miraculously the woman is spared and Jesus’ only missive to her is to go away and not sin anymore. Radical forgiveness and mercy are the hallmarks of the Messiah’s message. We’ve forgotten those lessons in our contemporary quasi-Christian culture.
Some folks like the pharisees of long ago like to parade around the marketplace in their long robes and mention the name of Jesus when it will get them a favor, but they fall way short of the message. Christianity is really a religion of radical forgiveness. If I am really to follow the gospel I am called to this same radical forgiveness and mercy. Last year a young friend of mine stated that a popular radio personality was very moral. I shocked my young friend when I said, “yes, he’s moral, but the gospel is not about morality. It’s about forgiveness and mercy.” How often do we break the Gospel down to living like a boy scout when in truth we are called to radical love, forgiveness, and mercy? Peace.