From Judging to Loving: Reflection on 5th Sunday of Lent’s Gospel

The 5th Sunday of Lent had a timing gospel that makes us think about how we can best approach women who enter an abortion facility. But most important of all, the way we encounter the workers.

Here’s the gospel reading (Note: Some heard a different reading if your parish had candidates in the RCIA program):

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning, he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

The gospel reading is refreshing as we see once again the message of mercy. Jesus did not care what kind of a person the woman was. All he did was he showed love and mercy for her actions. He even drew on the ground while the Pharisees told him what she has done. His response? He asked them to cast the first stone. One by one they walked away and knew that they were judging.

Pro-lifers need to be more loving and less judging. Love conquers our judgments. If we show love and not care about the kind of a person he or she is, it can speak volume in our encounters. I have seen some people walk up to or shout at people and judge them as a whole, and they get judged in return. Not only does it happen to women going into the facility but also the workers. It is clear to me that we don’t deserve judgment from anyone else but God. People need love, not presumptive judgment.  Humility is the virtue we strongly need if we want to conquer our presumptions and pride. We are not perfect. At the same time, we don’t know everything and we must be willing to admit it.

Instead of casting our stones, let us cast mercy and love to the people we encounter.

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