‘There is nothing more important in life than compassion for another human being’ (Tolstoy).

This week in the Gospel reading of Sunday we are reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the woman who was accused of being a sinner. The people around her, her accusers wanted her to be punished in public for the wrongs she had done. Jesus challenged the crowd and simply said, ‘let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’. The crowd dispersed until there was just Jesus and the woman. He did not judge her but gently corrected her with courtesy, gentleness and compassion.

This incident tells us that the mission of Jesus, and indeed all Christians, is one of mercy and forgiveness, not judgement and condemnation. .

Let us pray that we can learn from the example of Jesus,

to be kind, understanding and forgiving,

to suspend judgement on other people,

to extend to others the same compassion that we would like

to receive if we were in the same situation.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.