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Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Woman Caught in Adultery

Witness: Anya, a Jewish peasant woman of the time of Jesus.
Story N. 16 (see previous posts)
Sitting in the Temple’s shadow Anya recalls her last meeting with Neri. He accused her of committing adultery. Why did he doubt her honesty? Did she give him reason to distrust her in the past? 
Offended and sad, she left with tears in her eyes. If only he had followed Jesus for a few days he would have realized that it is impossible to sin in his presence. His gaze can search every souls, his countenance can only inspire the purest thoughts. How could anyone go against the word of God, when it comes from Jesus’ mouth? But most of all, to commit sin would mean, for his disciples, that they haven’t grasped any of his teachings. Why follow him then, if not to change one’s old ways?  Many times he said:
“Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. If you are my disciples you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Who can deny that sin generates vice? And vice enslaves people. They want more and more and are never satisfied. But when Jesus reigns inside you, all the things of the world fade away. The Pharisees take offense at him because he eats with sinners, but he came to redeem those who sin and set them free from their earthly entanglements. He came to give them a new mind so that they could perceive God’s love. The Pharisees have closed their eyes to Jesus because they fear him. They are blind to his truth.
But is it possible to live like Jesus preaches? Only through his unspeakable grace. Anya’s heart stretched to measure up to Jesus’ love and reached the heavens. She knows that she would have been incapable of going that far if left on her own. She understands his message because she lives in which that comes from him. He became the foundation of her own existence, and only in this way she was able to change her soul.

Anya turns around to look at Jesus. He’s sitting in the shadow of the temple, surrounded by his flock. From a distance she watches the scribes and the Pharisees walking towards him. They are dragging with them a young woman. Her clothes are torn and she’s sobbing. Sensing danger, Anya springs on her feet. One of the scribes pushes the woman in front of Jesus.
“Teacher,” he says, “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?”
An icy silence envelops the crowd. The tension rises, but Jesus doesn’t seem to mind. His head bent down, he’s writing on the ground with his finger. But when asked again, he rise his face to look at the scribes and says:                                                                                                                            
“Let the one among you who is without sin to be the first to through a stone at her.”
Then he begins to write on the sand again.
And so it happens that, one by one, the accusers walk away, their eyes cast down. Anya’s fear turns into exultation. Those men must be carrying a heavy burden on their conscience! Or maybe the simple truth is that no one is without sin and, in his wisdom, Jesus knows it. He knew that his answer would save that woman. She’s crouching down on the ground, her face buried in her arms. Trembling with terror, she’s waiting for the first stone to hit her. Jesus lays his hand on her back.
“Woman,” he calls her softly, “Look up. Where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Slowly she straightens up and looks around.
“No one, sir,” she replies, incredulous.
“Neither I condemn you.” says Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
Pale but relieved, she frantically kisses his hand and runs away.
Anya smiles. A woman caught in the act of adultery has been forgiven, and those learned men have been forced to admit that they are sinners. Maybe this is the beginning of their salvation. Or rather,
they’ll take offense at Jesus even more and the scandal will reach uncontrollable proportions. Like
never before, Anya realizes that Jesus has no choice but to stand against the wickedness of the world.
For if he came to save the world, how could he not save that woman?