Leviticus 20:7,10 (New Living Translation): So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.”
Revelations 22:14-15,17(New Living Translation): Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
Holy Gospel of John 8:1-11(New Living Translation): Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Who Can Cast the First Stone?
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.
The question of the day is…Who can cast the stone? You may be thinking I’m going to preach on adultery today…Lord knows I should with adultery running rampant in our society today…but think again. The great philosopher and theologian Aristotle said: “Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.”
My brothers and sisters, today more than ever we need to heed the words and teachings of Jesus. We are in a time in this world where people exercise the gift God has given us…that gift being the gift of free will.
It greatly saddens me to see people who profess to be a follower of Jesus in one breath and yet in the next will condemn someone for their sin. This is not the attitude or behavior of a follower of Christ. Jesus said to the crowd: “He without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
Who in this parish, this city, this country and even in this world, can cast the first stone? My friends, surely not I, for I am a sinner; a sinner redeemed by Christ, but a sinner all the same. I can see the questions forming on your brows; some of you may be thinking “Well what do we do Father?” I tell you this: we need to forgive, understand, be open minded; we need to love each other (and I mean every soul on this Earth, and not just those who sit in these pews), we need to pray and give hope to all. We need to honor the Commandments of our Blessed Savior. For like that crowd we are or should be convicted by our own consciences. For we cannot cast the stone, that alone belongs to our Judge, our Heavenly Father.
Yes we must teach the error of the sin, bring the sick to the hospital which is the Church, for the great physician who is Christ to heal them with the Truth of the Holy Gospel.
The French philosopher Voltaire said: Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. Jesus spilt His Blood on that Cross for the remissions of our sins; He did not stretch forth His arms to make hypocrites! This is a wakeup call my brethren!
Voltaire also said: “What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.” Some more food for thought, President Woodrow Wilson, who was also a minister of the Gospel, said: “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” Jesus said: This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13 NLT). We must love each other and I mean all of us in this world as He loves us! How do we start…simple be a friend. We must be willing to give sacrificial love to all! We must understand that people will exercise God’s great gift of Free Will and we must leave it to God to call them on their actions!
For who can cast the stone but Jesus and the Father? I say to you the same words Jesus said to the woman: “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” My family I also add the last words of the Rite of the Confessional: pray for me for I am also a sinner.
I close today’s teaching with the words of Mark Twain: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. “ Amen+