I was wondering if anyone could help me with elaborating on what Jesus meant when he told the woman to “sin no more.” I am just having trouble figuring out if Jesus literally meant don’t ever sin again, because I feel like this would be extremely difficult. Does he mean don’t commit adultery any more, or is it more of a just your best not to sin, but it is still going to happen kind of thing?
Jesus said “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” He did not say “Go forth and try your best.” or even “Go forth knowing you probably will sin, but that’s ok.” That’s part of something we miss in confession… it’s that firm resolution of purpose. We are supposed to go forth intending never to sin again. When we fall, we know there are things we can do to be forgiven… because God is merciful. But we should never take that for granted, we should never ‘presume.’ The sin of presumption is sinning knowing that God will forgive you, so you go ahead and do it.
This is an example of reconciliation in that story from scripture. In confession we are repentant. We aren’t supposed to live there thinking “Well I’ll see you in a week when I do it again.” We are supposed to leave there instead intending to never do that again, to not need confession again… to do our best, work our hardest, to be the man/woman that God created us to be. That’s what Jesus meant here.
It’s kind of like the whole concept of aiming for purgatory… you should never aim for that… you should aim for heaven… we know that God is merciful, but our goal is to be a Saint… not aim for less than that bar of perfection.
Well explained, thanks for that answer. I just think that this is a quote that could have been explained in the at mass. I think people miss the importance of this quote from Jesus. I’ve probably been looking at this wrong my whole life, so this is a good answer for me to hear
Today’s Gospel is also there to remind us not to be hypocritical and in judgement of others caught in sin because we certainly do not have the room to be casting stones.
Deliberate sin can, through habitual charity, eventually be rooted out.
When Our Lord commands something, He gives the grace to do it.