I am touched to the core with a presence I cannot explain. A loving plan enfolds me. Someone is always believing in me, calling me forth, calling me on. I am standing in grace filled with mystery touched with the eternal. I cannot get away from goodness. I think I name you, God.” (An Amazing Presence by Macrina Wiederkehr)
This Sunday’s Gospel is the story of the adulteress woman “caught in the act” and brought before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees. Seems her lover was given the nod to run off and not be held accountable for this crime against the Mosaic Law. I have often wondered how they were able to get her to this place of exposure without pushing or pulling her or touching her. Was that not a crime as well that made them “unclean"? It was a set up. They were trying to trap Jesus saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus is cornered and caught in the act, but in what God does best – pouring forth unconditional compassion, forgiveness, and love. He stoops to write in the dirt not once, but twice. Even though we know not what he wrote, could we imagine that it was her name – for her accusers call her, “this woman,” Or maybe - "you are loved." He then stands up to look not only in her eyes, but deep into her soul – and invites her to trust being loved unconditionally without judgment, exploitation, or condemnation.
He reaches into the very depths of her heart with mercy - there to catch her with the grace of forgiveness, and invites her to sin no more – not just for the next half hour, or the next day – but for the rest of her life! He catches her in the act of sorrow, offers healing and freedom, and has her claim her new way of being woman – believing in herself – and knowing that God believes in her!
He then stands and turns only to prepare himself to have the “rocks of lies” cast at him as he moves deeper into the week named Passover. There he will be “caught in the act” of being betrayed, judged, stripped, crucified, buried – but already making plans to break the Law once again by not staying dead – for no stone can keep God’s power contained!!