Good morning! I hope your day is going well so far and that your month of April is off to a good start. In these last two weeks of our Lenten journey I hope you will continue to be diligent in your time of self-reflection and renewal. To help with that, we have yet another Lenten devotional for you. Our writer for today is Tom Centarri, who is a campus minister with our own Catholic Community. Tom joined us here at TCU about two years ago and has worked alongside Fr James Wilcox in supporting the Catholic Community in some new and exciting ways. Tom and his wife Carrie also welcomed a new addition to their family recently, so there have been a lot of wonderful changes in his life over these past two years. I appreciate that he was able to take some time to write this devotional for us and I hope it challenges you during your time of reflection today. Blessings on your journey, my friend…
“1) while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2) Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3) The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4) they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5) Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6) They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7) When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8) And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9) When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10) Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11) She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
The woman caught in adultery reminds us of a few familiar circumstances. One of those circumstances we see in this scripture passage is our human nature. We make mistakes and it can be humiliating to come to terms with those mistakes or for some of us, sins that are hard to overcome and get past. The mistakes and sins that keep us trapped and far away from God can feel like a boulder on our hearts. Thankfully Christ recognizes the woman in her sin and not only helps her accusers to leave but encourages her to move on from being trapped, “to go and sin no more.”
Another circumstance the woman encountered while being comforted by Jesus in the public eye is the love Christ shows and offers to her and the invitation to change through that love. The hard part of sin holding us back from an active and holy relationship with God is that we can be aware of our shame but not know where to turn or what to do next in our actions. Jesus shows the woman the love and forgiveness necessary for her to awaken to her ability to make changes in her life. The beauty of this love and accountability is that we can see this same love in our church congregation members and close friends – cheering us on and being vulnerable in our relationships.
Through the church and Christ, the head of the church, we can awaken from the sin and shame to change our habits and continue on our paths to holiness with our creator.
God, please give me better understanding and awareness of my sins and struggles. Allow our churches to pour into us and allow Jesus to transform our lives and fixed back on HIM.