Confess your own sins and let everyone confess their own

It’s one thing to sin, to recognize your faults, and to seek peace through a good confession. It’s a completely
other thing when someone goes out of their way, to not only inform you of your wrongdoing but feels compelled
to let the general public know about your failings. This is the gospel situation with the woman who is brought
before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees. They have supposedly caught her sinning then quickly look up the
chapter and verse in their law books and presume that Jesus will side with them and condemn her to a stoning.
Their accusation is followed by the phrase, “now in the law.” Oh, they thought that this would be just what Jesus
needed to hear to make him side with them. Little did they know, and understand, that Jesus was on a mission
to let Gods people know that there are laws that need to be followed but that the ‘spirit of these laws’ also needs
some attention.
This gospel reminds me of the yearly first confessions of the boys and girls in any given parish. Although our catechists properly prepare them with the ritual and the act of contrition, there is always one or two children who exceed what they have been taught and confess either their siblings or parents’ sins. And when they do this its hard to stop them because they list numerous sins as if they were keeping a journal. When I get a chance to speak to them, I ask: “Do you have any sins that you have committed and want to tell Jesus you are sorry for?” They look at me with a puzzled look and inevitably say, “NO!” Since I have had personal experience with such responses, I ask several questions about their own behavior, their relationships with their parents and siblings, and doing whatever chores they are supposed to be doing. As if I have discovered air, fire, and water, they are mystified that I uncovered some areas where they have been negligent in. Then they can make a ‘good confession’. It’s a way that I use to get them to face the fact that they should just be concerned about their own spiritual life and not to try and control anyone else. Let’s learn a lesson from these ‘children of God’…own up to your own sins, and if someone asks you for help then give it, if not: MYOB (mind your own business) as we used to say as kids to one another.