“So he was left alone with the woman before him.”
As many times as I have read the account of the woman caught in adultery, I have never noticed this part of verse 9. The image of the woman standing alone with Jesus after all of her accusers had fled. It wasn’t the idea that they had all left once Jesus had arrived on the scene that struck me, but rather the thought that this woman was alone with God. What an incredibly powerful image!
Jesus does not embarrass this woman but instead talks to her in private about her conduct. This thought of the tenderness and care of God took my breath away. That Jesus doesn’t embarrass us or shame us when we are in our sin. But rather, if we allow Him, takes us to the side alone to talk to us about it. Jesus tells us to stop sinning, dismissing those around us before He talks to us.
Forgiveness of sin leads to newness of life. And as much as we want to run and hide in the world when we are in our sin, is as much as Jesus wants us to come running to Him. While the world will cancel us and shame us for doing something wrong, God conducts his affairs in private in the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we too can be alone with Him.
This Lent, if you have been away from the Church, or you are someone who is steeped in a situation that you can’t seem to get yourself out of, turn and run into the arms of Christ. While others will demean you and shame you for your behavior, Christ never will. The solution to your problem is not continuing to try and get yourself out of it, but instead to get alone with God so that your sins may be forgiven and you can start again.
A beautiful image that I believe captures the suffering of humanity as a whole is in the first episode of the Chosen. The first two episodes primarily follow Mary Magdalene. At the end of the first episode, as we see Mary struggling with her demons throughout the whole, she finally encounters Jesus--the first time the audience sees Jesus--He speaks her true name, which is hidden from most people and tells her "You are mine."