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The WORD. The TRUTH.

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The woman caught in adultery is one of the most poignant and touching accounts of Jesus’ ministry found only here in Jn 8: 1-11. Without dwelling on the question of its canonicity, it suffices to note that its authenticity as inspired scripture has never been contested in Catholic circles since it appeared in the Vulgate of St. Jerome, (even non-Roman Christians, e.g. Byzantine Church, King James Version, also accept the story as Scripture). The story itself has an authentic ring anyway in terms of the ministry of Jesus.

From the outset of the story, the scribes and Pharisees are in their usual selves of finding something which they could use to trap and accuse Jesus. According to Jewish law (Dt 22:23f; Lev 20:10), a woman caught in flagrant adultery is punishable by death. But at this time carrying out the punishment would have been academic since Rome had withdrawn Jewish authorization for capital punishment (Jn 18:31). Yet it still puts Jesus in a dilemma- his judgment would have to uphold either Moses or Rome (vv5f). Jesus wisely responded with a counter dilemma (v7). Ordinarily, the witnesses to the crime are the ones to execute judgment (Dt 17:7). Clearly, the sinless person is not to be found. As the accusers depart and the two remain alone, Jesus removes any hint of condemnation.

The verb ‘katakrinō’ (κατακρίνω) has the predominant sense of ‘condemn’, ‘pass judgment’ in circumstances precipitated by moral outrage (v10; Mt 12:4f; Lk 11:31f). But the base motives of the scribes and Pharisees, including may be of the husband (who could have arranged it to have her caught), and the witnesses are not according to the Law. They are indeed zealous for the Law but not interested in the purpose of the Law and their motives not honest. The action of Jesus is certainly one of compassion. The moment the sinful woman stands alone with the sinless Jesus is one of exquisite drama, an encounter, as St. Augustine puts it, between misery and mercy (“relicti sunt duo, misera et misericordia”). Her acquittal means forgiveness. But it should not be used to portray Christ as liberal and turning it to a sentimental justification for indifference toward sins of the flesh. Thus Jesus’ single injunction to the woman ‘to sin no more’(v11).

With confidence in the words of Jesus spoken to the woman, we believe that he will not condemn us too. Indeed he does not condemn her, but neither does he condone her sin. For Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin. Thus he tells us also ‘Go and sin no more’. Let us pray, therefore, for strength that we do try not to sin; but if we do, and surely we will, let us humbly continue to walk the path of conversion. This state of being continually converted marks out the most profound element of not only of our Lenten pilgrimage but that of our life on earth. A sincere, honest effort to repent, amend and avoid sin with God’s grace will surely win from God the response, “Nor do I condemn you”

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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Responsableng kasiyahan

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 38,682 total views Mga Kapanalig, humupa na ang kontrobersyal na pagdiriwang ng tinatawag na “Wattah Wattah Festival” sa Lungsod ng San Juan.  Halos isang buwan na rin ang nakalipas nang ipagdiwang ito ng mga kababayan natin sa San Juan. Kasama sa tradisyon tuwing sumasapit ang kapistahan ni San Juan Bautista ang basaan ng mga namimiyesta. Iyon

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