FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Today’s Gospel is about the adulterous woman, but we might wonder about the unfaithful man in the story. John makes no mention of him, even though he is equally guilty with the woman. Perhaps he was a public figure, nervously standing somewhere in the crowd, fearful that he would be found out. In his desperation to save his own skin he may have even been willing to heft a righteous stone and join in her condemnation. It seems unthinkable that a woman could be stoned for adultery, but the practice of public punishment lives on even now. This past summer, in the republic of the Maldives, near India, 150 women were flogged for having extramarital sex. One 18-year old fainted after receiving 100 lashes. There were also about 50 men on the list for public lashing, but many got off and many before them escaped punishment. Jesus, in his love and compassion, writes in the sand and forgives the woman. Then he lifts his eyes to us.
Deacon Dick Folger