“Nor do I condemn you. You may go.” —John 8:11
Injustices are not merely thoughts or feelings; they are realities. Therefore, we must not only stop injustices to the poor but also begin to repair the damage inflicted. Punishing those guilty of injustice is part of repairing the evil effects of injustice. Punishment stops the wrongdoing. It may be part of leading wrongdoers to repentance. Punishing the unjust restores some peace and security to the community. It also restores the just values which have been skewed by injustices. So it would be unrealistic and unjust to let the adulteress in today’s Gospel reading go unpunished. The Pharisees were not necessarily being vindictive when they planned to stone the adulteress. They were doing justice.
When Jesus let the adulteress go, He would have been unjust if He had not planned to provide justice for her victims and society in general. Jesus…
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