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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, day 34

When we reflect on the story of the woman caught in adultery, usually we focus on the woman and the Lord Jesus.

But for a moment, think about the crowd that had come to demand the stoning of an adulteress. How bad were these people? 

At first the crowd was a mob, a monster with a hundred eyes and 10,000 teeth, but in the end they just walked away, much like the adulteress herself—“one by one, beginning with the elders.” 

What was left behind on the sand was not a pile of bloody stones thrown in the name of the law but rather the ghost of human pride and self-righteousness, gone flat like a punctured balloon. 

We should not be too quick to identify only with the woman. The truth is, we are more often than not a part of the crowd—proud of our goodness and ready to stone all who aren’t.

Part of this story’s lesson can be summed up as a question: Should we not, like Christ, be a source of forgiveness and love to all we meet? 

Father J. Francis Jones, C.Ss.R.
Canandaigua, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62; Psalm 23; John 8:12-20