March 20, 2010


5th Sunday of Lent - C (March 21, 2010)
John 8:1-11

"I Came so that They Might Have Life and Have It More Abundantly"

The woman in this Gospel passage has been caught "in the very act of committing adultery." One can imagine the condition she is in when she is dragged out into public view and made to "stand in the middle" of the crowd.

Obviously, Jesus' opponents have no concern for her. They are interested in finding fault with Jesus, not the woman's well-being. They have turned her into an object, a means to corner Jesus.[1] In their eyes, she is no longer a human being.

Unlike them, Jesus treats the sinful woman with respect. Jesus speaks to her after everybody else has left. It is the first time she is recognized and acknowledged.[2] Moreover, Jesus addresses her with "woman," the same formal word he uses to address his mother at Cana and at the foot of the cross.

The scribes and the Pharisees are more than ready to stone the woman. For them, she is already dead.

On the contrary, Jesus, out of compassion, offers her an opportunity to live. But it is not just her physical life. He "offers her the possibility of a newness of life in a right relationship with God."[3] He says to her, "Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

The sinful woman encounters the Savior, who has come so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

[1] Francis J. Moloney, SDB. The Gospel of John. Sacra Pagina Series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998; p. 261.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid, p. 262.

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