Jesus, the woman caught in adultery, and Pope Francis

Let whoever is without sin cast the first stone.”
John 8: 7

Today’s Gospel of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery is a critique of people who would judge and condemn others.

Sadly this is something we see too often in the Church. In the US, if might be expressed this way: She’s not “orthodox” enough; he’s just a submissive tool of the hierarchy. Here in Honduras I’ve seen cases where people who want to serve in the church are maligned for having danced or for having been a heavy drinker in the past.

So, Jesus in today’s Gospel warns us – not to cast the first stone, but to look within our hearts.

But the story is also a great example of God’s love for the sinner, the marginalized.

In the midst of all the stories going around about Pope Francis there is one that I think reveals what this message means.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he used to visit the villas de miseria, the poor neighborhoods of his diocese. He and the priests who worked there seem to aroused in the people the good news of today’s Gospel, that includes the sinner in God’s love.

It is said that once Bergoglio [now Pope Francis] was in these parts and he asked the faithful: “Is the Church a place open only to the good guys?” Choral response: Nooo!! “Is there room also for the bad guys?” Reply: Yesss!! “Is anyone chased away because they are bad? No, on the contrary, they are welcomed with more affection. And how come? Jesus taught us”.

If more of our churches would be like that poor church in Buenos Aires, we might have a real rebirth of the Church.

——

For the whole article, click here.

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