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Rev. Mr. John A. Sistare
Jn 8:1-11- Woman caught in adultery
Mon. 5th Week of Lent
Station Church - San Crisogono

My brothers and sisters, I have a question for you this morning…What did Jesus write in ground twice? What did he write not only the first time but also the second? What did Jesus write?

I want to offer a possibility. Is it possible that the first time, Jesus traced a horizontal bar: the horizontal bar of death. Then a second time, he traced through the horizontal, a vertical bar: the vertical bar of life. First death and then life and maybe there in the ground appeared a cross. As the adulterous woman stood in her shame and tears, as the Pharisees & Scribes examined their consciences & dropped their stones, and as the words, "nor do I condemn you" echoed from lips of Jesus, is it possible that a cross was traced in the ground?

I don’t know. We don’t know and probably won’t ever know. It’s a question I’ll ask if I make it to purgatory or Heaven. For now, let’s leave it to the exegetes.

But we do know that soon after this scene, a Cross did stand in the ground. A Cross that stood in the ground of Calvary, from which the crowd heard words of mercy and not condemnation… "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

A Cross stands on the altar this morning here at Mass. Here Calvary is re-presented, in an unbloody manner but the one & same sacrifice of Christ is offered. Here we hear words of mercy and not condemnation… "This is my Body, given up for you"

A Cross hangs in every confessional as a penitent like the adulterous woman bears their soul & seeks pardon and mercy, instead of condemnation, as they hear the words…

"I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, Son ,& Holy Spirit"

I don’t know if a cross was traced in the ground, but I do know that a Cross stood in the ground of Calvary, upon which our Lord and savior Jesus Christ died, so that you may have life! Mercy and not condemnation!


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