Sunday, November 27, 2016


Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the preparation period before the birth of our Lord on Christmas.  It's also the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, so for even the biggest holiday stickler, it's OK to jump into Christmas decorating.  Goodness knows, I've seen a lot of trees on top of cars already.

At this time of year, the complaining begins about how secular Christmas has become.  You may think that's my theme with the title "Hijacked!".  No, I just don't see it that way.  This time of year has certainly been "hijacked," but it's Christ that has hijacked secular society, not the other way around.

By its very name, Christmas is about Christ.  Most people are well aware that it is the celebration of the birth of Christ.  It's the only religious holiday that is universally celebrated, not only by people of faith, but all people.  But isn't it too commercial? Maybe, but considering it is a day of family, decorating and gift giving, that's to be expected.  It is a birthday celebration.

Here's where Christ "hijacks" the secular holiday.  In addition to the universal celebration, gift giving and family time, everyone expresses the desire that the season bring goodwill and peace on earth.  That's EXACTLY what Christ brings: "Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more."  Psalm 72: 7.  Don't let anyone tell you it's a secular holiday or is somehow based on a pagan celebration.  Regardless of the date, Christmas is the celebration of the coming of the light of the world, Jesus Christ, and He brings justice and peace.

As you go through the business of the "holiday season," just smile when you see how God has invaded the daily life of the world.  Use the time you spend decorating, or buying gifts or addressing Christmas cards and incorporate your preparation for the coming of Christ - say a prayer, show kindness to others and don't forget the less fortunate  It is possible to bring Christ into your daily life.

Enjoy the anticipation and get ready for the celebration.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin;
God our Maker, doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come; raise the song of harvest home!

We ourselves are God's own field, fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore.

Then, thou Church triumphant come, raise the song of harvest home!
All be safely gathered in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There forever purified, in God's garner to abide;
Come, ten thousand angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home!

Public Domain

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy St. Cecilia Day!

Today is the feast of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of liturgical music.  Although she is often depicted playing an organ or lute, the story of her 2nd Century life only mentions music that Cecilia sang "in her heart" to the Lord.

Cecilia was a Roman noblewoman forced to marry a nobleman, Valerian.  Before they could consummate their marriage, Cecilia told Valerian she had pledged to remain a virgin and an angel protected her.  Inspired by her faith, Valerian and his brother were baptized and devoted their lives to burying the early Christian martyrs.  For her part, Cecilia preached, converting hundreds.  She became a target for the local prefect who ordered her killed by suffocation in the baths.  Despite being locked into the baths for a day and a half in intense heat, Cecilia didn't break a sweat. (No, really, she didn't sweat.)  The prefect then sent an assassin who attempted to behead Cecilia, striking her three times with a sword.  She did not die.  For three days she bled, still preaching to those who would hear her, until she succumbed to her injuries.  Over 1,000 years later, her body was exhumed and found to be incorruptible (intact and not decayed).  She wore a veil over her head and appeared to be asleep.

On this day, liturgical musicians the world over have concerts in her honor.  While she is mostly remembered as the patron saint of music, her story is typical of the story of many women in the early Church.  Her faith was unchanging and her convictions as a virgin were unshakable.  She preached and converted those around her.  She chose to die for her love for Jesus.  She was the very first incorruptible saint.

I hope you are as inspired as I am by this great woman of faith.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Mercy Door Never Closes

Today is the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church and Pope Francis has closed the Jubilee Door at the Vatican.  Other basilicas will do the same.  During the past year, the faithful were encouraged to make a pilgrimage to a cathedral with a Holy Door and walk through in God's mercy.

During our trip to Rome last winter, my family was able to walk through the holy doors at every major basilica in Rome, as well as Assisi and Pompeii.

St. Peter's Cathedral

St. Paul in Chains (St. Paul Outside the Walls) 

In the beauty of all of those magnificent churches, we steeped in the early Church - the tradition and the history.  In the enormous grandeur of these holy places, we were repeatedly reminded of the role of God's mercy (misericordia) in our faith.  It's great to believe in God, but so humbling to know His mercy.  "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ." Ephesians 2: 3-5.  We don't deserve the love of God through Christ, it is a gift.

So does the closing of the mercy doors mean God's mercy ends?  Of course not!  "My mercy is established forever; my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens."  Psalm 89: 3-4.  It is always there, in every age.  As Pope Francis said today in his homily of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe:

So many pilgrims have crossed the threshold of the Holy Doors, and far away from the clamour of the daily news they have tasted the great goodness of the Lord.  We give thanks for this, as we recall how we have received mercy in order to be merciful, in order that we too may become instruments of mercy.  Let us go forward on this road together.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Never Be Hungry Again

Today is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi.  I want to recognize that many of the thoughts and images in this post come from Father Tom Doyle, the Director of Andre House in Phoenix, Arizona, a place where hospitality is extended to the homeless through feeding and meeting immediate needs.  Father Tom knows a little about feeding the hungry.

Have you ever wandered around your kitchen, opening cabinets, opening the refrigerator, looking for something but you don't know what?  Or have you ever sat in front of your TV, remote in hand, flipping through the channels but not knowing what you want to see?  Maybe you waste time popping around the internet, through your social media accounts, kitty videos and news websites without a specific purpose.  You're looking for something, but you don't know what.

Our lives are filled with episodes of hunger:  hunger for food, material things, money and love.  To quote Mick Jagger, you can't always get what you want, but if you try some time, you find you get what you need.  But do you really want to settle?

When the crowds followed Jesus and his disciples into the desert, they weren't sure what they wanted.  They were curious, but certainly they were looking for hope and truth.  The apostles weren't sure either.  When they realized they had 5,000+ people without food, Jesus sent them scrounging for what little food they could find - 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  At that point people weren't thinking so much about what they wanted, but what they needed.

Jesus delivered both.  He multiplied the loaves and fishes.  He fed over 5,000 men, women and children.  Most importantly, he gave them hope and truth.  He gave it to them in a tangible way.  It wasn't just talk or philosophy - it was reality.

But wait - there's more!  After feeding more than 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, there were 12 baskets left over.  You can't run out of God's mercy or generosity.  It's boundless.  So you will get what you want and what you need.

Don't settle - don't go hungry.  Find the bread of life in Jesus.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Church!

Happy birthday Church!  Did you know that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church?  The birth of Christianity is celebrated this day - the day voices of all races and languages came together and heard each other with one voice.  Acts 2: 1-11.  So let's party!  The Holy Spirit is the guest of honor and will blow out the candles.  St. Peter set the table and St. Paul brought the guests.  But this is no ordinary birthday party.  We are guests, but the guest of honor is bringing the gifts. The Holy Spirit brings wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.  Isaiah 11:2-3.  Everything is set at the table and the party is ready to begin.  Will you be there?

The most important part of the party is to accept the gifts that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.  He is the guiding force in our lives, in everything we do, but only if we accept the gifts given freely.  I need to live in Him, walk beside Him and love through Him (the Holy Spirit), with Him (Jesus Christ) and in Him (God the Father).  I choose to stay close to the Church because I know it will survive all trials and the gates of Hell shall not prevail over it.  Matthew 16: 17-19.  And there are trials - both for the Church and for each of us personally.  Hold onto the Rock and wait for the day when we will all speak with one voice -  just like the first Pentecost.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Spiritual or Religious?

I believe in many things.  I believe in the laws of gravity.  I believe there is a tiny code of DNA in my cells that maps my traits and physical characteristics.  I expect that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  Those are solid beliefs and they are part of the backbone of my life.

I also believe in God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It is a solid belief and the backbone of my life.  But is it really the same as a belief in those other things?  Of course not.  I don't just believe in God, I have faith in Him.  I trust Him, I serve Him and I love Him.  That requires more than a belief and requires more effort to maintain.  For me, faith is more of a relationship than a statement of fact.

When I hear someone say they are "spiritual" but not "religious," it reminds me of the differences between belief and faith.  I am not suggesting that people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious do not have faith.  However, it is my experience that people who describe themselves as "spiritual" are usually not people who worship in a church.  They draw a distinction between spiritual and religious because "religious" people generally belong to a church and adhere to a creed.

I know some argue that the sacraments, the mass, rosaries and other elements of the Church are ritualistic and the focus becomes the method of worship and "the rules" instead of the "spirituality."  I would respond that Jesus Christ and His mother gave those to us because God wants us to be united in worship and community.  Those "rituals" provide us with the framework to maintain a relationship with God, an opportunity to serve Him in a community that shares His love.

I fear that being "spiritual" is a belief that God is real, but somewhere far removed from daily life.  He's an abstract (agnostic) concept, like gravity or chromosomes.  I will admit that even with a creed, formalized worship and a church community, there are times when God is still an abstract in my life.  However, it's those "rituals" that sometimes keep me engaged when I feel disconnected from God.  I would much rather have "religious" than "spiritual" when I'm wandering in the desert of a dry faith.  After all, isn't the goal to love and serve God in the Way established by Christ while keeping the Holy Spirit involved in your daily walk?

So can someone be both "spiritual" and "religious"?  Is it even required?  Is one better than the other?  Regardless of how you label it, we are called to know, love and serve God.  While I may not always have both a "spiritual" and "religious" life, I think practicing my faith as a member of Christ's Church gives me the best shot at a relationship in which I know, love and serve Him.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Acting It Out

Don't you just love reading the Acts of the Apostles?  It's that book in the Bible right after the Gospels.  It begins with Jesus' ascension and gets right into the business of the early Church.  Most of the structure of the Roman Catholic Church began right there in the Acts of the Apostles.

It's messy.  There are many fits and starts, failures and triumphs, hope, joy and despair.  There are miracles too and many, many conversion stories with the best being that of Saul to Paul.

It's a busy time.  Right from the start, God has to nudge the apostles to get going.  As they are standing looking at the sky after Jesus' ascension, two men appear and ask why they are just standing there (Acts 1:10).  It's time to get busy with the business of beginning a ministry.  Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they must begin a Christian community and spread the Good News.  The Holy Spirit does not disappoint and the brave apostles (together with Paul and Barnabas) successfully convert scores to become followers of Christ.

As beautiful and inspirational as that was, there were also administrative details.  I hear people sometimes complain about the "details" in the Church and how it is so obsessed with them.  There are so many little rules and bureaucracy.  It all began there in the early Church, as chronicled in the Acts of the Apostles.  It was easy in the beginning.  They met, prayed, shared food and took care of each other (Acts 2:42-47).  Then they traveled and converted people far and wide, people with different cultures, languages and traditions.  There must be uniformity and organization in a movement, especially one that addresses fundamental questions of doctrine and faith.

Then, as now, the Church is ONE.  It was spread out, but it was unified in a faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.  Everyone was welcome to share in the unity.  Christians lived as a community - not solitary believers worshipping God in their own ways.  If it takes a little administration, a little herding of cats, the goal of the "little details" is singular as Jesus prayed it would be:

I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You.
Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me,
That they may be one even as We are.
(John 17:11)


Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Glimpse of Heaven

Many people ponder what Heaven will be.  Some wonder if their body will be better than the current version, or what "age" it will be.  Many think about who will be there - their spouse, their family members who have gone before them, or even beloved pets.  People ask the question - where is Heaven?  Is it an earthly dwelling or just hanging around in the clouds?  Where are we going and who will be there?

The answer is found in today's reading from Revelation 21:

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away."
The One who sat on the throne said,
"Behold, I make all things new."

Our questions about where are answered - the new Jerusalem, a holy city that comes down from Heaven from God.  What will it be like?  There will be no more death, mourning, wailing or pain.

But then the question we don't ask or really discuss is addressed.  God will dwell with the human race.  God will be with us!  Is there any reason to ask questions?  God's presence with us is sufficient.  It is more than sufficient - it is glorious beyond our understanding.  Other than this fact, is there really anything else we need to know?

"Behold, I make all things new."  Alleluia!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Prayer for A Turbulent World

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away
God never changes:
Patience obtains all things;
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

 -Saint Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Robbing My Peace

I'm a political person.  No, that doesn't mean I am necessarily interested in "politics," although most of the time I find that interesting too.  What I do enjoy is the study and discussion of government policy.  Some might say my "discussion" is actually closer to a "debate."

There are many things wrong in the world today.  Some are very serious moral and ethical issues.  I am passionate about a number of them and am frustrated with the way American society and government has chosen to deal with these issues.  (I am intentionally keeping this vague because the purpose of this post is not to discuss those issues.)  Because of my passion, sometimes I get very animated and frustrated by issues.  They can make me angry, scared and even hopeless about the world.  My feelings can be so strong as to ruin my day and spill over into my relationships, neither of which is very productive.

Recently I heard a wise woman say that it was OK to be passionate about an issue.  It might even be imperative to speak out or otherwise try to improve the situation through social or political change.  But, she said, do not become angry.  Don't let it ruin your mood or feelings.  Don't carry it around like a stone.

Don't let it rob your peace.

Since I heard these words, I have given them a lot of thought.  I do get upset over things that are horribly wrong in our society.  I think we are headed into some dangerous waters that will continue to erode our moral fabric.  I want to turn the tide, to fix the problem.  I can't do it alone and I have to face that fact.  I need to keep my joy and my peace because this world is not my home.  Jesus tells me:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
John 14:27

It's all there in black and white.  My peace comes from God and I will not give it up for any reason.  It's not the peace I get from the world.  While I am called to speak the truth and not ignore evil, I cannot fear it or let it rob me of this precious gift of peace that Jesus gives me.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Do You Love Me?

Today's Sunday reading from the Gospel of John (21:15-19) is very personal to me.  It is the time when the risen Jesus spoke to Peter, confirming Peter's love and willingness to follow Jesus.  Jesus asked for Peter's commitment three times, identical to the number of times Peter denied Jesus prior to the Crucifixion.

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."

A couple of years ago I had a dream about this passage except Jesus was sitting across from me saying these words.  Previously when I heard this passage, I thought Jesus was chiding Peter, making him feel guilty for hurting and denying Him.  However, in my dream another Jesus was speaking.  He said the same words, but tenderly, with a slight smile and gentle eyes.  His eyes looked right through me.  He knew the answer to the question better than I did; in fact, He didn't need to know I love Him, He needed me to know.  That's what Peter meant when he said "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."  How can you not love someone who knows you more intimately than you know yourself and still loves you - enough to die for you?

How many times did Peter remember this conversation with Jesus?  Jesus entrusted to Peter the most weak and helpless thing Jesus had - us - His sheep.  In every hardship and frustration Peter endured in those early years of the Church, this one conversation - and the look in Jesus' eyes - must have sustained him.  And with that same look of love and tenderness, Jesus gently told Peter:

"Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

These are disturbing words, but Peter knew they were delivered with love.  He had to know that Jesus would be with him through it all.  The Acts of the Apostles demonstrates that Peter was a changed man; no longer a man who would cower in fear and deny Jesus, but a man who would boldly stand before the authorities and proclaim his intent to do all that Jesus asked him to do.  Acts 5: 27-32. What changed him?

The look in Jesus' eyes: "Do you love me?"


Friday, April 8, 2016


I love jade plants.  I have a jade plant in my office that I have had since 1990.  Back then it was big and really healthy.  Over the years I have come so close to killing it.  There were times I had given it up for dead.  That jade plant just keeps coming back, maybe not as pretty and big as it used to be, but it is alive.

This little jade plant comes from a cutting on a big bush in California.  I cut a little piece off and let it dry out for a couple of days - no water.  I don't know too many plants that can survive being cut without water.  Jade plants can.  Just stick them in some good soil and wait.  This is my first time trying this and I'm amazed that this little plant is growing new leaves!

Ever know someone who is like a jade plant?  It's someone who can be cut, starved, mistreated and generally neglected, but still emerge intact.  He might be scarred or damaged, but he is alive and growing.

God will not give me more than I can endure.  Although I may be bruised, Jesus did not come to break me.  This was the message of Isaiah 42:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street; 
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.

I don't want to be a bruised reed or a dimly burning wick.  It scares me that God might test me.  I have to pray.  Hold on.  Be a jade.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mother Angelica - Who Was She?

By now most people have heard that Mother Mary Angelica, foundress of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), died on Easter Sunday at the age of 92.  How appropriate that she finally went home to the Lord on Resurrection Day!

I have great admiration for Mother Angelica, but it wasn't always that way.  I was a young adult of the 1980's, when relativity was born and when we looked on traditional Catholic values as "out of touch" or irrelevant to our modern lives.  I first became aware of Mother Angelica during the 1980s when I was still a teen.  I'm not sure how I found out about her, but I know my immediate impressions certainly were not positive ones.

When I finally decided to take a look at EWTN, I managed to catch Mother in one of her "hellfire" moods.  Dressed in a full black habit with a wimple on her head, she reminded me of Sister Francis Xavier from grade school (she was pretty stern too).  Aha, I thought - she's exactly as I heard - a real kook!

But, years later, I discovered there were two sides to Mother Angelica.  She struggled with anger and "crabbiness" (as she often admitted), but her insistence on the application of doctrine and dogma of the Church was unwavering and she suffered no fools who could not see that.  Her anger was righteous.

Mother's other side was different.  When she spoke about Jesus her tone softened and the great love she had for Him poured from her.  She was like the quintessential grandmother who begged us to come home because Jesus was waiting with boundless love and mercy.  In a gentle and tender voice she assured us that Jesus loves us.  I'm sorry I missed that the first time I saw her.

It is only now at her passing that the stories of her remarkable life and great faith are pouring forth.  People are stepping out to talk about the impact she had in their lives.  Even the Wall Street Journal gave her a laudable tribute!

There is so much more that could be said about this enigmatic woman and her impact on the New Evangelization.  I know as I have grown older and seen more of the archive of her shows, I have come to appreciate both sides of Mother Angelica.  I know, like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, her voice will continue to reverberate over the airwaves.

Eternal rest grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Morning by Morning New Mercies I See

Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

This has to be my favorite Protestant hymn (although there are so many beautiful ones!), but my favorite line goes with today's feast of Divine Mercy.  Yes, every morning I see new mercy from Jesus, but sometimes I need to focus my eyes and see it.  

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday and a recent addition to the Catholic Sunday feasts.  It was declared by St. Pope John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina in 2000.  Sister Faustina Kowalska was a Polish visionary who lived in the 1930s and wrote a diary of her visions and revelations from Jesus Christ, who appeared to her with rays extending from His Sacred Heart (see below).  Click here for more information about the feast, the Divine Mercy chaplet and the devotions specific to Divine Mercy.

When this feast was first declared, I remembered thinking how inconvenient that it was placed on the Sunday after Easter.  At my parish, that was traditionally the day we had First Communion.  However, Jesus asked that the feast be celebrated on this day.  Fourteen times in her visions, Jesus asked St. Faustina for a celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday on the octave of Easter.  In addition, in the very earliest liturgical documents of the Church, The Apostolic Constitutions, the apostle Thomas asked "after eight days let there be another feast observed with honor, the eighth day itself on which He gave me, Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of His nails, and the wound in His side by the spear." 

Oh, now that makes sense!

The Lord's mercy is boundless and an essential component of our salvation.  His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136).  But it wasn't just a "one shot deal".  That is abundantly clear today.  Wasn't it enough that Jesus came to us as a man, died a humiliating and unjust death and then rose again?  Evidently not.  Just one week after the glorious Resurrection Day, we see Thomas, doubting it.  Jesus was so patient, so merciful!  Thomas' experience was so personal, because Jesus loves each of us and His Mercy extends to each us, just as we are.  Just reach out like Thomas and touch Him.  His mercy is new every day.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

All Things New

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19

Image result for crocus

This is one of my favorite messages in the Bible.  God is doing something new.  How appropriate that I heard the reading from Isaiah at mass today.  How appropriate that God gives us this message on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, just one week away from the beginning of Holy Week.  How appropriate that I am choosing today to reintroduce Comfortably Catholic.

Spring is well underway here in Arizona and I'm sure it will be soon in other parts of the country.  Seemingly dead things are coming back to life.  In two weeks we will be celebrating Jesus rising from the dead.

But first we need to walk through the valley of the shadow of death - Holy Week.

I have been walking through my own spirtual darkness recently.  Actually, it's not so much dark as gray.  It's not enough to be alarmed about losing my way, but rather that my faith feels mediocre, lackluster and tired. 

I need God to make all things new.

Today we also heard the story of the woman caught in adultery.  Of course the focus of the story is always on the Pharisees who try to corner Jesus into condemning the woman so she can be stoned.  Jesus turns the tables on them by making them look to their own sin.  It's a great message.  However, there is another message in that passage from John.

Jesus makes all things new for the woman caught in adultery.

He does not condemn her, but he also does not condone her behavior.  He gives her a second chance, a clean start:  Go, but do not sin again.  John 8: 11.  Maybe having the Pharisees drag her out into public was the best thing that happened to her.  It not only exposed her sin, but offered her an opportunity to hear God tell her that He was making all things new for her through forgiveness.

Don't we all need that message at this time of year?  

And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Revelation 21:5