The Scribes and Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, even at the cost of a woman’s life! What was she thinking and feeling while being dragged before the Lord? People laughing at her, treating her like dirt; perhaps she thought she was dirt. The Law of Moses demanded her death: what would Jesus do? They had Him! He would either oppose the Law or agree she should die. His compassion shone; no one else cared. Jesus knelt and began writing on the ground. The silence was overpowering: If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone… His compassion challenged her accusers: they left. She left, not just alive, but with a new dignity. She had been forgiven and freed. She is perhaps the first in a long line of sinners to come before the Lord feeling guilt, shame and the weight of sin, knowing punishment was deserved yet hoping to receive His compassion. Many of us will approach the Sacrament of Penance this Lent feeling guilt and shame, but seeking compassion and freedom. We will be forgiven and welcomed home by the One who gave His life for our freedom.