Reflecting on Isaiah (43:16-21) and (Psalm 126”1-3), we encounter God who identifies with the people in their sufferings; destroys the might and glory of wars (chariot and horse), laying them “down never to rise again” (Isaiah, 43:17). Equally, God rescues the people from captivity restoring their hope and filling their mouth with laughter and their “lips with joy” (Psalm; 126:1-2). In the Gospel of John (8:1-11), we encounter Jesus, in a violent setting, rescuing a woman accused of committing adultery and whom the accusers claim should be stoned according to the Law of Moses. Jesus’ response; “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John; 8:8) is both nonviolent and challenging. By standing with and for her and nonviolently challenging the accusers, Jesus shows compassion, restores the woman’s dignity and rejects the status quo. Additionally, He counteracts the earlier violent setting with a peaceful one, laying a firm foundation for dialogue, compassion, restoration of her dignity and forgiveness.
Let us identify who in our families, communities and global world are bruised, rejected, condemned, and deprived of their dignity. How do we challenge the structures, cultures and laws that contribute to their vulnerabilities? In what ways can we change violent settings to peaceful ones as Jesus did in this case? Lord, heal our world and give us lasting peace.