March 18 2024: Bible Verse of the Day – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Fifth Sunday of Lent Year C – Jesus and the Woman Caught Committing Adultery – John 8:1-11
… “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
9 And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. – John 8:1-11
Catholic Readings For Today
Today’s Bible Verse of the Day Reflections
John 8:1-11 recounts the story of the woman caught in adultery, where the Pharisees bring her to Jesus, testing him by asking whether she should be stoned according to the law of Moses.
Jesus responds by challenging the one without sin to cast the first stone. When they all leave, Jesus forgives the woman and tells her to go and sin no more. His response is perfect and, in the end, she is left alone to encounter the tender mercy of Jesus.
But there is a line in this passage that is easily overlooked. It is the line that states, “…beginning with the elders.” This reveals an interesting dynamic within human communities.
Generally speaking, those who are younger tend to lack the wisdom and experience that comes with age.
Though the young may find it hard to admit, those who have lived a long life have a unique and broad picture of life.
This enables them to be far more prudent in their decisions and judgments, especially when it comes to the more intense situations in life.
In this story, the woman is brought before Jesus with a harsh judgment. Emotions are high and these emotions clearly cloud the rational thinking of those who are ready to stone her.
Jesus cuts through this irrationality with a profound statement. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Perhaps, at first, those who were younger or more emotional did not allow the words of Jesus to sink in. They probably stood there with stones in hand waiting to start throwing.
But then the elders began to walk away. This is age and wisdom at work. They were less controlled by the emotion of the situation and were immediately aware of the wisdom of the words spoken by our Lord. As a result, the others followed.
This passage reflects several key themes. One is the compassion and mercy of Jesus, who refuses to condemn the woman despite the Pharisees’ attempt to trap him. Instead, he highlights the importance of forgiveness and offers her a chance for redemption.
Another theme is the contrast between legalism and mercy. The Pharisees were focused on strict adherence to the law, while Jesus emphasized the spirit of the law and the need for love and forgiveness.
This challenges us to examine our own attitudes and actions, prompting us to prioritize mercy and compassion over rigid adherence to rules.
Moreover, the passage underscores the universal reality of sin and the need for humility. By inviting those without sin to cast the first stone, Jesus reminds us that everyone falls short, fostering a sense of humility and understanding of our shared need for forgiveness.
In summary, John 8:1-11 encourages us to embrace a spirit of mercy, love, and humility, recognizing our own imperfections and extending forgiveness to others as we seek to follow the example set by Jesus.
Reflect, today, upon the wisdom that comes with age. If you are older, reflect upon your responsibility to help guide the younger generation with clarity, firmness and love.
If you are younger, do not neglect to rely upon the wisdom of the older generation. Though age is not a perfect guarantee of wisdom, it may be a far more significant factor than you realize.
Be open to your elders, show them respect, and learn from the experiences they have had in life.
Short Story About the Helping People Who Have Been Caught in Sin
Once upon a time, in a small village, there lived a young man named Kofi. He was known throughout the village as a troublemaker, always causing chaos and stirring up trouble.
Kofi’s biggest weaknesses were bhang and alcohol. He would indulge in these vices regularly, which only made his behavior worse.
One fateful day, Kofi was caught by the villagers in the act of smoking bhang and being drunk and disorderly. The villagers were furious and demanded that Kofi be punished severely for his sins.
They dragged him to the center of the village, where they began to pelt him with stones and shout insults at him.
Just as things were about to escalate out of control, a police officer arrived on the scene. He saw what was happening and immediately stepped forward to protect Kofi from the angry mob.
The policeman knew that violence would only worsen the situation and that Kofi needed compassion and understanding, not punishment.
The policeman stood between Kofi and the villagers, just as Jesus stood between the woman caught in adultery and her accusers.
He spoke softly to Kofi and calmed him down, and then turned to the villagers and asked them to stop their attack.
Because he knew most of the villagers and their behaviour, he asked them to throw stones at Kofi if they knew they had never committed any offense.
The whole crowd went silent. The policeman then took Kofi by the hand and led him away, protecting him from the angry mob.
As they walked away, the policeman took Kofi to his home and had a long conversation with him, during which he learned about Kofi’s troubled past and the reasons for his sinful behavior.
The policeman realized that Kofi needed guidance and help to overcome his addiction and lead a better life.
The policeman decided to take Kofi under his wing and help him get his life back on track. He taught him the importance of leading a sober life and the consequences of indulging in sinful behavior. Slowly but surely, Kofi began to change his ways and become a better person.
Years passed, and Kofi became a responsible member of the village. He helped others in need and lived a respectable life.
He was grateful for the kind-hearted policeman who rescued him from a life of sin and showed him the way to redemption.
Prayer for the young: Lord, give me a true respect for my elders. I thank you for their wisdom stemming from the many experiences they have had in life. May I be open to their counsel and be guided by their gentle hand. Jesus, I love You. Amen.
Prayer for the elder: Lord, I thank You for my life and for the many experiences I have had. I thank You for teaching me through my hardships and struggles, and I thank You for the joys and loves that I have encountered in life.
Continue to pour forth Your wisdom upon me so that I may help guide Your children. May I always seek to set a good example and lead them according to Your Heart. Jesus, I love You. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day in Pictures
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