Fr. Terry’s April 7th Bulletin Article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

In the Gospel we hear the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.  I have always found a great sense of hope and a strong challenge in that reading.  There have been a few times in my life when I thought something I did was unforgiveable.  During those times, I found myself doing two things:  pulling away from others because I felt embarrassed and unworthy of their love and friendship and being haunted by what I did to the point of punishing myself beyond what others would want me to do.  Frankly, sometimes they were more forgiving than I was to myself.  If I am honest with myself, I still carry the burden of that sin, even though it had been forgiven by others and God a long time ago.  As my spiritual director, God bless her, points out to me from time to time:  God has forgiven you, others have forgiven you, why will you not forgive yourself?  Sometimes it boils down to fact that I cannot believe I am capable of being that stupid.  Sometimes it is because I cannot get over the anger I feel at myself.  God is so compassionate, that his forgiveness is never held over us.  When He forgives, it no longer exists.  Family, friends, and even people I don’t like still offer me forgiveness because they know I can be better than that.  I still remember a time in 5th grade when a classmate I was always in competition with or could argue/fight with at the drop of a hat, walked up to me on the playground while I was crying my eyes out, put his arm around me and just sat with me.  Finally, when I could stop crying, he told me it will get better.  Forgiving myself and letting go, is what I have to work the hardest at.

The other thing that always comes to mind for me when I hear this reading is that there are many more stones we can toss that have nothing to do with rocks.  Our gestures, our attitude, our actions and words to others can and often do more damage than a rock would.  Do we harm others spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually as well as physically?  What would Jesus say to us, if he watched the way we are with others?