Isaiah 43: 16 -21; Phil 3: 8 – 14;John 8: 1 – 11
Isaiah announces it! See I am doing something new – now it springs forth do you not perceive it?
We have new life in Christ Jesus. The forgiveness of sins. And the intimate, powerful and touching story of the women in the gospel is our story too.
Think about it, my sisters and brothers. Think of all those times you said to yourself: He’s at it again. She’s herself alright! Nothing ever changes. Oh yea, it’s murmuring interiorly even if not with someone. It’s the way we are: ready to pick up the stone. We see the another’s sin so easily. Don’t we?
The moment Jesus asks the question, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…” is the moment we realize the grace we have received God’s Forgiveness.
And the moment of our need for a deeper conversion.
So, the big lesson here is our acknowledgment of our own sinfulness and our need to forgive, to accept folks as they are and find ways to support them in their journey to Christ and forgiveness and conversion.
Jesus has forgiven us. We are all forgiven. We all have new life if we can accept the way of Jesus. God wants us to live in the freedom of belonging to God and accept his new reality.
We do know it, we do accept, and yes, we do need ongoing conversion to live it fully.
Of course, St. Paul is always our hero. He says it clearly and without equivocation – all things are loss. I give up everything, nothing has value as I thought, in light of Christ Jesus.
So, here we are, all Cistercians, vowed to God Alone. Living this life completely – following Paul – all is loss nothing but God and the new life I now live in Christ who frees me. What faith we possess. Letting go of everything. All for Christ who brings us to the Father.
But we do live in Community. By now we know each person, their issues, their tendencies that rub us the wrong way and invite us to find ways to love and let go of all these interpersonal challenges. It’s just the way of monastic life, the way of any important relationship.
We accept one another and not only that, but support each other, encourage and pray for each sister or brother on the journey that we know so well ourselves. We are grateful for the community cooperation in helping us to come to better gospel life and commitment to our vowed life. We need each other. That’s our monastic life, our community life.
Jesus is so compassionate in the gospel. So perfectly present to the women and to the men who are seeking to stone her. He alone sees the truth of the situation and manages to let each person confront themselves with their own truth.
Can we learn from Jesus today? Always seeking our truth and living out of it. There’s our conversion. Jesus shows us how mercy and compassion leads to forgiveness and the beginning of new reconciled relationships. Then of course, even deeper healing can happen.
What we are so in-touch with today, is our need to touch again and again, Christ’s forgiveness. Because we know our weakness, we know our sin. So, we need to hear Jesus’ words over and over, “Neither do I condemn you – go and do not sin anymore.”
Let’s hold on to all that Jesus offers us today. A way forward in peace. Knowing he always is ready to forgive. And going forward with renewed commitment to live in deeper love and self-awareness as we seek to let go of all that gets in the way of our life with Jesus and our life together.