The First to Throw a Stone
On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, from the Gospel of St. John, the Pharisees decide to test Jesus:
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” -John 8:3-7, NAB
This story is one of the most famous lessons from the Bible, yet we seem to struggle with it the most. Jesus said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” But how many stones do we throw on a regular basis?
When I became Christian, many years ago, my life changed dramatically. Since my faith was renewed as a Catholic, just a few years ago, I live a much different life than I did before. It is important that I never forget where I came from, and even who I am now: a sinner – in desperate need of God’s grace and forgiveness.
As our lives change because of Christ, we leave our old ways behind. At the same time, we will begin to notice people that have not accepted Christ and do not live according to His commandments. We forget where we came from, and quickly begin judging them for who they are.
If I look at my life before Christ, I was a horrible sinner. Even today, sin is something I struggle with. Why, then, do I feel justified in judging those who do not have the same values and beliefs as me? I am who I am because someone cared enough to reach out, sharing the love of Christ. Should I not do the same?
Jesus taught us to love one another. If someone you know or someone you meet is on the wrong path, do not point fingers at them; instead, show them love. Help them find the right path by sharing the ways of Christ.
Who are we to judge? Should we be the first to cast a stone at someone for their mistakes? No. Do not throw stones at people for their sins, but help them find their way to the right path again. Together, this is how we build up the Church: through loving acceptance, not righteous condemnation.