Woman Caught in Adultery
The stones about to be thrown to the woman caught in adultery by her accusers in our gospel today are weapons of hatred and violence. But as we continue to hold on to these symbolic stones in our hands, their hardness is by now affected by the warmth from our hands. These same weapons of hatred and violence can also transform into instruments of warmth as well as a strong component to a concrete aggregate that can put stability to a building. Hardness can reconcile with warmth. Roughness or harshness can become a source of courage and strength.
Let us try to put ourselves in the situation of the woman caught in adultery, shamefully condemned by the scribes and Pharisees. Amidst the hatred and violence in the language of the accusers, we hear and listen to the re-assuring voice of Jesus, His loving and forgiving attitude to the woman.
We are now fast approaching the celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery. In the midst of difficulties and challenges, perhaps even in the turmoil of hatred and frustration, we hear and listen to God’s mandate to imitate Christ in His suffering, death and resurrection.
It is tempting to separate the reality of abuse and violence from our appreciation of our Christian mandate. Scriptures confirm abuse and violence as real and must be acknowledged. Our tendency to evade the darker side of our lives speaks of our tendency to hide the harsher reality of our lives. Such denial of life’s uglier side has contributed to the deafening silence about abuse and violence in our communities. It brings about scapegoating and false sense of self-righteousness.
As we prepare for Easter, let us learn to experience not only its joy and new life but also its aspects of fear, insecurity and violence that are involved in the process. Easter (Resurrection) comes only after Christ’s Passion and Death.