Writing in the Sand

A few weeks ago, I felt a sweet nudge from the Holy Spirit to seek out Confession during my lunch break. After carrying such a heavy heart for so long, I felt like I was coming undone as I endlessly rambled about my own interior chaos. When I finished, the priest and I sat in silence for an unbearably long time, and I subsequently began to question every little thing I had said.

When he gently broke the silence, he said, “Do you the pray the way you just confessed?”

“Yes, I do.”

Confident that I was about to be reprimanded for my word vomit, I began to apologize for everything. I should have come sooner or been more prepared. I certainly knew better than to go on for so long when there was a long confession line.

Yet he responded, “If you pray the way you have confessed, you must know that God became Man to reconcile Himself with you.”

Today’s Gospel is one of the infinite moments where I am invited to remember that Jesus wants to reconcile Himself with me. (See John 8:1-11.) I am reminded that He bends down and writes my liberation in the sand as He sends my enemies away one-by-one. It is the instance where we meet eyes again, where I catch the gaze of a Lover Who chooses not to condemn me, but to send me out. Right when I have become complacent with captivity, my back is straightened by a victory I could never deserve, one freely given on the Cross.

I am not sure where you see yourself in today’s Gospel, but I have spent this last season reveling in the nonsensical mercy of the Messiah. When I anticipate condemnation, aggravation, or intolerance, the Lord meets me where He meets the adulterous woman. Again and again, I am in awe as He extends Himself to me, in mercy, patience, and love. After all He has done, we must know that God became Man to reconcile Himself with us.

After all He has done, we must know that God became Man to reconcile Himself with us. Click To Tweet

This Venetian painting of the scene is from the 16th century and captures the tension and drama of the encounter in today’s Gospel.

Sarah Erickson is a politics pre-law major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Arizona, she finds great joy in mountains, lattes, American history, and the piano. She is constantly discovering Christ’s wild love in the little things. You can find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    Beth Glover
    April 7, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Thank you. Your reflection was very meaningful and helpful.

  • Reply
    Lisa Murphy
    April 7, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I’m curious about the graphic of the woman’s hand grasping the side of the Monstrance?

    • Reply
      Lindsay Durrenberger
      April 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

      It’s a photo from one of our Shine retreats. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 8:40 am

    What beautiful consolation you received in confession! What a great reminder for all of us! Your reflection is so beautifully written and eloquent ~ inviting each of us to place ourselves in the Gospel, receiving His ‘nonsensical Mercy’. Amen to that!

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