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March 22, 2021

Jn 8: 1-11

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. 

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 

Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Allowing “wait time”

As a teacher, I appreciate “wait time,” the long pause that follows a question and allows students to process their responses. While students initially squirm in uncomfortable silence, the “I’ll wait…” strategy eventually gives way to the time and space needed to develop authentic understanding. In today’s Gospel, Jesus employs “wait time” after he is asked (twice!) about the adulterous woman’s punishment. Instead of answering, Jesus begins scribbling in the dirt as if to say, “I’ll wait while you work this out for yourselves.” Although we often speculate about what Jesus wrote in the dirt, for me, the answer is not in the dirt, but in Jesus’ eyes. In Jesus’ eyes, I see myself as he sees me - as a sinner, but as a loved sinner. Sometimes we need a minute, some “wait time,” to see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes, surrounded by his compassionate, merciful, boundless love. 

Today, give yourself some “wait time.” What do you see in Jesus’ eyes? How might you extend Jesus’ mercy and love to someone in your own life?

—Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

Prayer

Surround me with your boundless love
Confound me with your boundless love
I was drowning in the sea, lost as I could be
When you found me with your boundless love
If by chance I should find myself at risk
A-falling from this jagged cliff
I look below, and I look above
I'm surrounded by your boundless love

“Boundless Love”  lyrics © John Prine, Dan Auerbach, Pat McLaughlin on The Tree of Forgiveness (2018)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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March 22, 2021

Jn 8: 1-11

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. 

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 

Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Allowing “wait time”

As a teacher, I appreciate “wait time,” the long pause that follows a question and allows students to process their responses. While students initially squirm in uncomfortable silence, the “I’ll wait…” strategy eventually gives way to the time and space needed to develop authentic understanding. In today’s Gospel, Jesus employs “wait time” after he is asked (twice!) about the adulterous woman’s punishment. Instead of answering, Jesus begins scribbling in the dirt as if to say, “I’ll wait while you work this out for yourselves.” Although we often speculate about what Jesus wrote in the dirt, for me, the answer is not in the dirt, but in Jesus’ eyes. In Jesus’ eyes, I see myself as he sees me - as a sinner, but as a loved sinner. Sometimes we need a minute, some “wait time,” to see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes, surrounded by his compassionate, merciful, boundless love. 

Today, give yourself some “wait time.” What do you see in Jesus’ eyes? How might you extend Jesus’ mercy and love to someone in your own life?

—Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

Prayer

Surround me with your boundless love
Confound me with your boundless love
I was drowning in the sea, lost as I could be
When you found me with your boundless love
If by chance I should find myself at risk
A-falling from this jagged cliff
I look below, and I look above
I'm surrounded by your boundless love

“Boundless Love”  lyrics © John Prine, Dan Auerbach, Pat McLaughlin on The Tree of Forgiveness (2018)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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