Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 34
Monday in Fifth Week of Lent
“Go and Sin no more.”
It’s almost impossible to miss the similarities in today’s readings—a woman is accused of adultery and vindicated by the righteous. But there are some differences, too. Susanna was wholly innocent, but the woman in today’s John reading was “caught in adultery” (Jn 8:3). Yet there is still one striking similarity—the inordinate desire to condemn that leads to their condemnation. In Susanna’s story her assaulters’ turn on her to condemn her so that they wouldn’t be found out. In today’s John reading, it’s odd why the chief priests and scribes bring the adulteress to Jesus. If they already caught her, why bother asking Jesus his opinion (Jn 8:4-6)? Because it was a way for them to condemn Jesus so that they wouldn’t be condemned by him for rejecting him as God. But in both stories, all those who condemn are themselves condemned. Who do you identify with in today’s readings? Are you perhaps like Susanna, waiting for God to deliver you from an unrighteous predicament? Even if our deliverance does not come tomorrow, God will wholly vindicate us on the last day! Or perhaps, are you like the adulteress, hoping God will not condemn you? Or perhaps, are you like the accusers eager to condemn but completely blinded that we all need forgiveness? Our goal as sinners saved by grace should be to not have our lives consumed by condemning others that it leads to our own condemnation; but rather to recognize that we all need deliverance. So today, we all need to hear from Jesus, “go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11).
Be gracious to thy people, we beseech thee, O Lord, that they, repenting day by day of the things that displease thee, may be more and more filled with love of thee and of thy commandments; and, being supported by thy grace in this life, may come to the full enjoyment of eternal life in thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.