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Today we are confronted with a moving image of a woman dragged before Jesus because people believed she was a sinner.  This heartless gesture by the mob provides us with one of the most beautiful encounters the Bible offers and one of the most powerful lessons in the ways of God.
The Gospel (John 8) showcases two attitudes towards sin. The first attitude is that of the scribes and Pharisees and the crowd they managed to influence.  It is an attitude of accusation, of condemnation, self-righteousness and revenge. 
See, there is this woman “caught” in adultery and she deserves punishment as stipulated in the law.  She must die!  Have you ever wondered how all these people caught the woman in what should be a most private transgression? Did they really see her committing sin? Was she not “caught” in the web of gossip, hearsay, malicious talk, discrimination and oppression?  I am not saying she was not a sinner.  Her silence seems to confirm it.  And worse, it was too late.  She was “already caught” by an accusing, condemning crowd of pure people.
The crowd was not really after the woman. They were intending to “catch” yet another in accusing her.  They really wanted to catch Jesus make a mistake in his judgment so they can also bring charges against him.  An accusatory attitude does not easily die.  It is hard to remove specially if it has become a habit.  All you see in others is their fault; all you expect of others is their downfall. Like the woman, Jesus was already “caught” even before he commits any blunder.
Are we like the scribes and the Pharisees and their group?  Have we been accusing and judging people around us?  Worse, have we been doing this based on what we heard or received or felt rather than we actually experienced?  Are we not merely influenced or inflamed by others?
But there is a second attitude here.  It is the mindset of the Lord Jesus. Instead of “I accuse you,” he said, with his gestures and words, “I forgive you.” Instead of shouting “What did you do?”, he asks “Why did you do it?”  The woman may be a real sinner, but like all sinners, Jesus knew she was not hopeless.
And all Jesus did was write on the ground.  We tend to think that God keeps a record of our sins.  But I think Jesus was not “writing down” sins; he was “writing off” the sins, cancelling them so the woman could be free. With Jesus, forgiveness becomes a release and liberation from judgment of men and the wrath of God.
Like the crowd using the woman, Jesus too, had a double purpose.  He was using the woman, releasing her from her sins, so that he could lead the crowd to let go of their own sins, their own destructive attitude of accusation and condemnation.
“Anyone who is without sin… and they went away one by one.”
Visit the Confessional these days and accuse, not others, but yourself.  Visit the Confessional and feel, not condemnation but freedom.  “Go and sin no more.”