Memory of the Poor

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Memory of St. Stanislaw, bishop of Krakow and martyr (+1071). He defended the poor, the dignity of men and women, and the freedom of the Gospel and the Church

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 8, 1-11

and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.

The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in the middle

they said to Jesus, 'Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery,

and in the Law Moses has ordered us to stone women of this kind. What have you got to say?'

They asked him this as a test, looking for an accusation to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger.

As they persisted with their question, he straightened up and said, 'Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.'

Then he bent down and continued writing on the ground.

When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until the last one had gone and Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained in the middle.

Jesus again straightened up and said, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'

'No one, sir,' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus. 'Go away, and from this moment sin no more.'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Gospel tells us the extraordinary story of an adulterer who is literally thrown to the ground in front of Jesus while he is teaching in the temple. According to the law of Moses, such a woman is to be stoned. If the law were clear, even more evident was the violence that animated those scribes and Pharisees to throw the sinful woman at Jesus’ feet. In the face of this violent act, Jesus is silent. But the evangelist notes that Jesus "bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground." The Lord of the Word remains silent. Only her accusers continue to yell indecently. The woman is also silent. She is well aware that her life hangs by a thread, by a sentence that can come from the mouth of the young prophet. Jesus finally raises his head and turning to the accusing Pharisees says: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And he bends down again to write on the ground. His answer disarms them all. Struck by these words, "they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders," the evangelist remarks wryly. It is a moment of truth. No one remains in the clearing, except for Jesus and the woman: the merciful one and the sinner. Jesus spoke with her in a tone he often took with difficult people: "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ...Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again." Jesus was the only one who could have lifted his hand and thrown stones to kill the woman; he, the only just one, spoke to her with words of forgiveness and love. This is the Gospel of love that the disciples ought to welcome and communicate to the world at the beginning of this new century, so needy for forgiveness. This Gospel passage is not about condoning sin. It is anything but that. Jesus says to her: "Go and sin no more!" A change of heart is what is needed. Here begins salvation from the slavery of evil.