Saturday, March 2, 2013

John 8:7

“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7)

In a climate of confusion, uncertainty, distrust, there are many erroneous explanations and answers, but a lived faith gives us confidence: Some people do not lose sight of us.

Jesus opens a new path: salvation! Paul, in his letter to the Philippians (3:8-14), speaks of his own "newness" after his encounter with Jesus Christ. His is a true "miracle of Easter": it draws him out of himself, from his pride, he acquires new eyes and a new heart, he meets the Risen One and - consequently - lives a new life.

The newness is also present in the Gospel. The adulterous woman, in the encounter with Jesus: "Woman - he says - where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?".

"No one, sir," replies the woman. "Neither do I condemn you."

Amazed at so much love, she feels loved and forgiven: she is now a new creature, able on her part to love and forgive.

But this gift of forgiveness is received if one lives also the words that Jesus said to the adulterous woman at the end: “Go, and do not sin again”, as we say in the Act of Contrition: “I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin”! Thus for the very numerous people WHO HAVE LET THEMSELVES slid into relativism, “the most profound difficulty of our time" (Pope Benedict XVI), the sins remain not forgiven!

In his homily at the Mass preceding the conclave that quickly elected him Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger said: “How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true. Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. WE ARE BUILDING A DICTATORSHIP OF RELATIVISM that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.” (;

On the other side of the coin are those who are quick to judge while being blind to their own sinfulness and hypocrisy. Objectively we must judge right from wrong according to the actions of others so as not to do the same as well as praying and offering our sacrifices for them and then perhaps offering a word of advice at the right moment with love and humility. But subjectively, that which is going on inside the head of the one who is objectively doing wrong, his motives, the graces receive from God, his personal life history, etc., only God knows this, and thus only God can judge this person’s culpability.

On the left side are those who presume that all is ok according to their relativistic mentality. “Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell… But I noticed one thing: that MOST OF THE SOULS THERE ARE THOSE WHO DISBELIEVED THAT THERE IS A HELL.” (Diary, 741).

On the right side are those who are fond of doing as the Scribes and Pharisees who brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery. THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES WERE BLIND TO THEIR HYPOCRISY even to the point that Jesus said: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20). “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3; Lk 6:41).

Both sides of the spectrum lack humility and trust in God and thus are not trying to see things from the point of view of God but from their own point of view as if they decide what is right and wrong as the serpent tempted Adam and Eve (Gen 3:4-5).

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An Experience of Life:

I was 17 years old when, expecting a baby, I got married: after ten weary years I got divorced. Then I met Mark, my current partner. To this failure was added the awareness that a clear relationship with the Church and perhaps with God was ending: as a divorced person I would not have been well received in the Church anymore.

What would I have been if a priest had not told me, "God loves you immensely, even as you are?". If he had not kept me in the Church despite my condition? I felt that in the parish there was a place even for me. And from this point my journey of faith was resumed. The first fruit was the desire in me for the need of prayer, the Mass and even the Rosary. My life has changed and along with mine also that of Mark and of my son Lorenzo.

I discovered that all the past pain had a meaning, it was linked to the cry of Jesus on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" To that cry I tied the pain of not being able to receive the Eucharist, I tied the review of my previous marriage with the ecclesiastical tribunal. The lived experiences of others in the Group of the Gospel that I frequented are precious to me where there are many who are living now what I went through before.

(Cecilia, Modena)

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