Monday, March 27, 2023

From Fr. Frank

In both readings today, we have two women, Susanna in the first, an unnamed woman in the gospel. Both are being unjustly accused of sexual sins by men who have everything to gain in their accusations. What could any man gain by accusing a woman of seducing a man for her sexual lust or by “catching” a woman in the act of adultery? In both instances, the deceit and hypocrisy of the men is unveiled, for they are the ones who did the seducing in the first reading. In the gospel, where is the man who was having relations with the unnamed woman?

Jesus is “doodling” in the sand, writing a message,  in which what was written remains a mystery. But what is unmistakably clear is that Jesus’ words, “Those who have never sinned cast the first stone,” are words of infamy: the men were trying to deflect their own personal sins and the guilt those sins create onto the woman. Hypocrisy!!! Jesus exposes their hearts, as they all quietly and sheepishly walk away, dropping their stones of judgement.

The greatest sin stemming from pride is to cast stones of judgement onto another person or group, so that our own inner evil attitudes and their sinful expressions can be hidden in darkness. We all carry within our hearts many stones waiting to be hurled at another human being or a specific community of people, “scapegoating” them so that we can be superior to them.

Disciples of Jesus are called to recognize those hidden stones of hypocrisy and let the grace of God crush them, freeing us to look in the mirror and accuse the right person.