It Is All About The First Stone

April 3, 2022

There has always been something about that first stone.  It seems throughout history there is something about the first throw, the first shot, the first punch.  In baseball, there is sometimes a ceremony about the first pitch.  After that pitch, the game begins.  In Lexington and Concord, they speak of the shot heard around the world that began the Revolutionary War.  What follows after the first pitch and the first shot matters.  When schoolyard fights are being broken up, it comes down to who pushed or shoved the person first.  Oftentimes the answer of who started it first comes down to who antagonized who first.  Sadly in war, we speak of the ability of preemptive strikes to help as a deterrent.   What happens next is a floodgate of action that is meaningful.

In the Gospel, Jesus is clear, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Without warning, without words spoken, those with the stones left.  No stone was thrown that day.  Without a first stone, what happens next is monumental.  Forgiveness and the lack of condemnation on the part of Jesus is the shot heard around the world; it is the endgame experience.  It is what follows after sin is exposed and healing is desired.  No one likes to have dirty laundry aired out.   No one wants their sins exposed in front of everyone.  It is a humbling place to be.  Jesus longs for the healing of all sin.  He longs for us to get behind His way.  His way is about forgiveness.  Public or private, God knows who we are and what we do and what we have done.  He did not come into the world to throw stones, but to die on the cross for forgiveness.

We live in a world where stones are thrown on social media platforms.  Battles rage.  It can be very easy to throw the first punch or the first stone.  Post a picture, harm a reputation, pass it on to others, “like” a comment.  With incredible speed, stones in the cyber world do so much condemnation. Jesus came to challenge us to sin no more.  Jesus came into the world to have us stop condemning others.  How does that happen?  We stop throwing the first stone.

Fr. John