The Most Compassionate... or the First to Condemn

04-03-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

First—a quick reminder about the parish mission on Monday and Tuesday at 6:30pm. Please don’t miss out. And if we’ve never met, please find me and introduce yourself. It would be my honor to meet you.

This Sunday’s gospel is about the adulterous woman. And I often wonder about the men in the crowd who had been clamoring for her death. How many of them had committed adultery?

In my experience, I’ve found that people who have struggled with a particular sin fall into one of two categories: they are either the most compassionate... or the first to condemn.

I’ve seen people who call themselves Catholics rail against those who struggle with homosexuality often turn out to struggle in the same way. (Notice: I did NOT refer to homosexual acts. This is an important distinction. Catholics MUST love all children of God equally. And it is disordered to speak ill of ANY child of God. Though it is proper to have disdain for sin. More on this in a bit.)

I have seen others belittle those who struggle with doubt. “Doubts are destroyed if you have true faith!” ...only to see the ones condemning end up leaving the Faith!

And to bring it full circle, we’ve all read about scandals where mega-church pastors bemoan the disintegration of the family, only to be caught having an adulterous affair.

But sin is real and it needs to be rooted out. After all, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey. No one threw a rock, so I guess your life is fine. Go and commit more adultery.” What did he do?

He began by dealing with the hypocrisy of the crowd. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He challenged them to have disdain for (and deal with) their OWN sin first. Then, and ONLY then, he moved on to the woman and her particular sin.

“Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” He separated the sin from the woman.

So—ask yourself—who was the closest to the Lord by the end of this reading: the self-righteous crowd or the woman?

May we all have disdain for our own sin first, and see our fellow man as the Lord sees them.

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