Jesuit Father Edward Durkin, principal of NativityMiguel Middle School in Buffalo, N.Y., discusses the messages of mercy and forgiveness in the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery for the fifth Lenten podcast from the New England and New York Province Jesuits.
Fr. Durkin first calls attention to the beginning of the Gospel passage, where Jesus spends the night in solitude on the Mount of Olives. Fr. Durkin compares this solemn prayer experience with Jesus’ next day, which is spent teaching “all the people,” emphasizing Jesus’s broad appeal.
“Ignatius of Loyola, our [the Society of Jesus’] founder, teaches us that perhaps there should not be a thick line of demarcation between our encounter with God in solitude and our encounter with God our Father in the intensity of the apostolate,” says Fr. Durkin.
The scribes and the Pharisees bring the woman to be stoned to Jesus and ask him what should be done with her, to test him. He saves her life, and according to Fr. Durkin, this is the moment Jesus has been waiting for.
“He has saved her life physically, and now he strives to save her life within,” he says.
With the words “Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus dismisses the woman with mercy. “Let us abide with this scene, and let that same gaze of that same savior come upon us with this same merciful love,” concludes Fr. Durkin.
Listen to the full podcast at the New England Province website.