Monday 5th Week Lent 

PHOTO: LAURENCE FREEMAN

Jn 8:1-11: Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The wisdom of Solomon is so obvious and irrefutable once someone has had the clarity and courage to express it.

Clarity grows with the spirit of acceptance and the purifying of the mind. We can’t conceptualise this clarity anymore than we can look at a perfectly translucent screen. We see through it. The ‘vision of God’ is simple seeing not looking at. With this vision that is the result of a pure heart, we can see with clarity through all the illusions and self-deceptions, all the games the ego plays.

But this clarity separates the one who sees with it from the crowd, one like the crowd ganged up on the woman caught in adultery. Don’t we like to feel that we are right and better and then to feel our little ego magnified by the self-righteous people around us. It’s the effect of a chanting crowd in a football stadium or a racist attack or a gang rape. We reinforce and flatter each other by targeting someone weaker who may be innocent or who has been caught doing something wrong. Our anger at the victim hides our own shame.

It takes the courage of such clarity to break with the crowd and stand for the truth. Even in this story, though, Jesus doesn’t touch the hearts of the crowd who were about to stone the woman. He simply removes from them the false reasoning and justification for their actions. Temporarily their collective ego was pricked and so their individual little egos deflated. But how they must have hated him when they got home and talked about it. We hope that by then the woman had got safely away. Jesus however was their new target.

Being clear and being compassionate doesn’t equate with social success.
 
 
With love
Laurence
 
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