Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, April 11, 2011 (Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent)

Transcript of homily recorded on Monday, April 11, 2011

By Monsignor Gerald McSorley

Teaching is a very good thing to do, a very noble profession and a great way of helping people by being a teacher. Now, in today's Gospel, Jesus is called a teacher. The Pharisees addressed him as "teacher." Now, he wasn't in a classroom teaching. We're told that he was teaching in the temple area. And what did Jesus teach? Did he teach science and mathematics? Religion. He taught religion. He taught us how to live, taught us how to serve God and to serve one another, how to live our lives as God wants us to live. So Jesus was indeed a teacher. He taught by his words, but he also taught by his example.

And today's Gospel gives us an example of Jesus teaching by the way he treated the woman who was brought before him and accused of being a sinner. The scribes and Pharisees wanted Jesus to condemn her, and Jesus challenged them and said well, yes, you can go and stone her, but let it be the one among you who doesn't have any sin, let that person be the first one to cast or to throw a stone. So there was silence. And one by one they walked away. So Jesus was teaching that they didn't have a right to condemn her.

Jesus was teaching compassion and forgiveness, and that's what he did towards the woman. He did tell her, go and don't sin anymore. So he wasn't saying that doing sinful things is OK. No, he said, I won't condemn you, but do not sin any more.

And that's what Jesus does with all of us, he forgives us. He tells us, you are forgiven, but do not be sinning anymore. So Jesus teaches us in the Gospels to have compassion and forgiveness towards others, and above all,  not to be going around condemning others. Rather, instead we need to look into our own hearts and into our own lives and see what we need to correct there before we start correcting other people.

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