Let the one without sin be the first to cast a stone
"If people return into the arms of God's mercy, all else will easily fall into place. Once consciences are set right, so too will all problems find a solution. I compassionate with you in the burden that you have with your worries, and I beg God that whatever you do will be accompanied with a copious supply of blessings." 
We tend to objectify sin. When we talk about it we are speculative and theoretical. Is sin something personal or relational? Can we own up to it or take responsibility for it? The world treats it as something elsewhere, alien, outside. If it feels good it is morally ok, some would say. They take offense if we describe a particular act as sinful.
Last week we saw in the prodigal son parable that there are two types of sinner. The first is overt, blatant and conspicuous. The second is covert, hidden, concealed behind a facade. The younger son had clearly broken the relationship with his father. The elder son, at least in the culture, was still in the right, and was demanding his rights. But there was no relationship of love with his father either. He wanted justice, but he was just as guilty. Human justice is never complete, never thorough enough, never total or whole. Human justice can never be final.
Now beyond the parable, Jesus is met with the situation in the flesh. It is a trap. If he forgives her he stands against the Law of Moses. If he condemns her he could be in trouble with the law of Rome. It is a set up. Was she indeed caught in the act? Where was the partner? He was just as guilty. The situation is very irregular. If real, it would have been taken to the Sanhedrin anyway.
Where is sin here? Is it just outside? Is it just her? What about us? Mercy and Justice come face to face here, and Jesus is Mercy. The challenge is to look first to self. Gaspar knows this implicitly. If each conscience is set right, everything else falls into place.
- How would I describe my relationship with Jesus?
- Is there anyone I dismiss because of judgment? Why?
- Am I just taking care of myself? How would I describe my relationship with the world?
 from Letter No. 307 to Msgr. Nicola Mattei, July 12, 1820, Resources 4, pg, 37