Perhaps some of you may hear the A cycle Gospel reading today, if you attend a Mass where there are catechumens. The rest of us will hear the C cycle Gospel about the woman arrested for adultery. The scribes and Pharisees and onlookers wanted to stone her to death in accord with Jewish law. When they ask Jesus if he agrees, Jesus mysteriously writes on the ground. Scripture scholars debate about what he wrote! A popular idea is that he wrote the 4th through 10th commandments, and then stood and said: Let the one without sin throw the first stone! What Jesus wrote is not really very important. What is important is that Jesus turns what would have been a violent situation into a loving and forgiving moment for the woman. Later, in the middle of his own violent dying, Jesus forgives one of the thieves on the cross, and about his own crucifiers he prays to his Father: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:32-43). Perhaps because we need order, we humans don’t like people who don’t obey law. We are all tough on crime in our hearts! Jesus does not ignore what the woman did: He admonishes her to sin no more. But he also forgives her, and throughout the Gospels, Jesus makes forgiving others a necessary aspect of discipleship. Forgiving has so many aspects including letting go of grudges, letting go of our memories of the unfair acts we’ve endured, and staying in loving relationship with those who did us in. Lent invites us to go further each year into this “forgiveness” challenge. We can do it!
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia