Let us visualize this. There is a criminal—a woman caught in adultery. There are accusers and they are holding rocks to stone the woman. Figuratively and even literally, they have engraved the sin of the woman on the stone. We know how heavy a stone is. It is solid. We know how hard a stone is yet they have chiseled the word “adultery” on the stone which they hold in their hands ready to throw it at that sinful woman.
On the other side is the Lord. Jesus does not deny that this woman did something criminal. Jesus recognizes that. But what was Jesus writing on the ground? Jesus, like the accusers carrying rocks, also writes “adultery” on the ground. Having written adultery on the ground, Jesus stands up. And when Jesus stands up, He does not have rocks in His hands. What does He have in His hands? Dust. He has dust in his hands because if one starts to write on the soil, one’s hands get dusty.
Now visualize this. Here is the sinful woman. Here are the people who have engraved the sin of adultery on rock. And here is Jesus. He has engraved the sin of the woman on the ground. Here is Jesus offering dust to throw at the woman, whereas the people offer to throw rocks at her. The lesson is very simple. Unforgiveness is heavy. Revenge is hard. Condemnation is difficult. We will need some muscle energy to carry the rock. We will need some muscle energy to engrave on that rock. Why do we have to do that if we have better things to do?
In the case of the Lord, He only had dust, so small, so minute, so tiny that with a gust of wind, the hand will be free from the dust. Such is the mercy of God.
The essence of Christianity is compassion. Crime does not pay. Unforgiveness does not pay also. Resentment, revenge, condemnation are heavy things to do. Today, the Lord says to us, “When somebody has done us wrong, we must write it on dust and carry it in our hands. We must not carry rocks to condemn. Instead, carry dust which we will allow the wind of God’s mercy to erase. Let the holy water in the Church wash away that condemning attitude.
Love Like Jesus