Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (8: 1-11) in which Jesus says to the accusers of the woman caught in the act of adultery, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned let him to be first to throw a stone at her’.Fr Paul says this story does not really fit into the Gospel of John. We know that in early manuscripts of the Gospel this story floated around in various positions before it becomes anchored as an example of Jesus’ saying just before, ‘Our Law does not allow us to pass judgement on anyone without first giving him a hearing’ (John 7: 51). Fr Paul says he has always been curious – What was Jesus writing on the ground, or was he just doodling to allow the accusers time to reflect on their self-righteousness? It is made clear we understand that we cannot be a follower of Christ without first admitting our sinfulness. For example, Peter in the boat tells Jesus to leave, for he is a sinner. Zacchaeus promises to make multiple restitution for his embezzlements. The woman at the supper weeps for her sins at Jesus’ feet. In closing, Fr Paul puts this Gospel Question to us – Am I like the Pharisee’s and act all self-righteous or do I have the humility to admit that I am a sinner?
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