First Reading: Dan 13:1-9. 15-17. 19-30. 33-62; Psalm: 23. R. v. 4abc; Gospel: Jn 8:1-11
REFLECT BEFORE CASTING THE STONE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
We live in a hostile world accustomed to evil and mob justice. A lot of people have become so impulsive and unreasonable in joining the crowd to condemning people without first asking questions. It is as though we don’t verify accusations anymore but are very quick in reacting. We can be sure that not all those who picked up stones to stone the adulterous woman in today’s gospel actually caught her in the act. Most of them were passersby who on hearing her crime, picked up stones to kill her.
The story of Susanna in the first reading of today says something about us. It reveals that we are guilty of the sins we accuse others of. And that those who condemn others stand to receive a greater judgment. If we looked inwardly, we would see how wicked and sinful our hearts can be. The reason we have not committed the same sin we condemn in others could be because we have not had the opportunity to do so. Or because we have not found ourselves in the same circumstances that tempted others to commit such sin. We can take for example the two elders in the first reading of today. They only failed to commit adultery just because Susanna did not give in.
We are not different. Often times our hearts are full of sinful thoughts but we only did not act on them because there are no opportunities to do so. This is why we have no right to condemn any one. Jesus said “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone.” We should be people of empathy and love and not people who are judgmental or condemnatory. No one knows or understands the circumstances surrounding the actions of people. So we do not have the full knowledge to judge. Judgment only belongs to God. If you felt you are not a sinner, you had better reflect again. But if we all are sinners, then we need to be loving and compassionate.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see ourselves in the shortcomings of others; so that we may be considerate and compassionate. Amen.