There she was, scrawled on the ground before Jesus where she shoved down by her accusers. A crowd had formed, with some of the religious leaders asking whether she should be stoned or not. Jesus, seeing their hearts, is saddened by their absence of love. Cold. Self-appreciating. Arrogant. No Mercy. No understanding. Only judgment. He looks around and finds each one, stone in hand, ready to commit violence and sentence death.
“Teacher, Moses said we should stone such people. What do you say?”
Jesus remains silent, squatting down to the ground, writing in the sand.
“Well? What should we do?”
Jesus stands up, looks at each person and their stones, and says, “The one among you who has no sin may cast the first stone.”
He went back to writing in the sand. The crowd paused. Some looking incredulously at Jesus. Others weighing the stone in their hand and weighing their hearts. One by one the stones fall to the ground with a dull thud and the crowd disperses leaving only the woman and Jesus.
Each of us at times are like those in the crowd, just as ready to cast our stones at others. Stones of judgment, criticism, bitter words, retribution and hate.
Today, let us stop and ponder the stones we hold in our hands ready to throw at others, and to recall the words of Jesus.
“The one among you who has no sin … ”
This is the day’s examine, to weigh the stones we carry, those we hold at the ready to cast at others, and be ready to drop them as soon as the moment rises in our hearts.
Lord Jesus, help me to drop the stone of _____________ (whatever attitude or thought you hold against another), and turn to You, the Just Judge. Help me to recall the words of the prayer you taught us, “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …” May I be able to let the stone I hold in my hand fall to the ground, and walk away in peace. Amen.
Reflection from the Gospel of John 8:1-11