Homily – April 7, 2019

There is a song that sings, ‘No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.’ In other words we have no idea of what goes on in another person’s life. We have no idea of the stress they are under, or their struggles. We all deal with different worries, we have our anxieties, we all have our conflicts with other people and we all have our own joys and the support of family members and friends.

Jesus looked into the life, behind the closed doors, of this embarrassed, humiliated woman who was thrown down before him by her accusers. She was caught in adultery and the law said she was to be stoned to death. Behind the closed door of her life Jesus saw she had no choice of the man she married. It was arranged by her parents. Maybe Jesus saw that hers was a loveless marriage. He husband never saw her as a person of value. She was to do her duty as his wife.

One day a man came into her life and saw her as a woman, a person, maybe a beautiful person and showed her respect. Things went on from there and now here she is surrounded by angry, righteous men ready to beat to the ground with their stones of outraged anger.

We can imagine Jesus looked behind the closed doors of each of their lives and knew what went on behind them. Jesus saw the shallowness of the outrage and ignored it and offered them the challenge, ‘let him who is without sin throw the first stone.’ No one dared and one by one they slinked away.

‘Woman, is there no one here to condemn you? Neither do I condemn you because I know what goes on behind the closed door of your sad life. Go and sin no more.

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. None of us knows what another person is struggling with. None of us sees the total picture. Judge not and you will not be judged but by the same severity by which you judge others will you be judged.

Heavy stuff!