Our days are filled with messages sent and received on many platforms –
computers, cell phones, tablets – these tools are available at our fingertips, literally.
The more traditional media – books, magazines, periodicals – are still in use to contact people.
But have you ever received a message written on… sand?
This is surely not the usual mode of communication nowadays!
Amazingly, we see this in today’s gospel (John 8:1-11) – we see Jesus writing in the sand.
What did he write? What was the message he wanted to make known?
No one can say…
Did the Pharisees read it? Did they realize that the words were meant for them?
Impossible to assert…
Did the woman make out the characters traced by Jesus’ finger?
Did this give her courage, hope to be spared the stoning prescribed by the Jewish Law?
This, too, is unknown.
It is after the question voiced by the religious leaders, that Jesus bent down to write in the sand.
Their question was:
“Now what do you say?”
Obviously, the leaders were more concerned with condemning Jesus than condemning the woman!
The gospel writer adds immediately:
“They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.”
The answer of Jesus is framed in silence and… in the sand – there is no need for more.
This answer has all the power that compassion can offer.
The leaders leave, and the woman is forgiven.
And… the same can happen today…
Note: A video presents this gospel scene where Jeannie Calavrias personifies the Woman caught in adultery; it can be found at: https://youtu.be/lH5ZJSjSItI