John 8.1-11

Jesus calls us to forgive one another from the heart and to see our brother or sister in the same light of Truth that He shines on each of us.

He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord, and he will firmly establish his sins. Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray. Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord? Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins? If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, who will make expiation for his sins? Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity, remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments. Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance. Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins; for a man given to anger will kindle strife, and a sinful man will disturb friends and inject enmity among those who are at peace.” (Sirach 28.1-9)

The Accused

The men brought the adulterer
Before Him, scheming to betray:
“Moses’ law says we must stone her;
Teacher, what have you got to say?”

At first, His word remained within;
Humble silence He broke at last:
“Let the one who is without sin;
Be the first with a stone to cast.”

Then, one by one, they walked away;
The woman was left all alone.
Justice had conquered hearts that slay;
And mercy had subdued the stone.

With mercy, one’s own fault is known:
Truth shines, like a revealing light,
On brokenness which hearts disown —
Healing begins in hearts contrite.

Forgiveness liberates the heart,
Enslaved by sin and enmity;
Enjoining what was far apart,
As love conquers the enemy.

The contrite heart that can forgive
Will love, will liberate, and live.

May the immense mercy of His love liberate our hearts and the hearts of those we forgive fully and freely.

(c) Paul Buis, 2005