Thursday, March 3, 2016

IF YOU'RE TRYING TO GET OUT OF A HOLE, STOP DIGGING












Pic.: Ashwin Mohta

This is Lent… a very solemn period of forty days when, we, Catholics, remember the painful last days of Jesus Christ. We fast, pray, repent… make amends, seek forgiveness, mercy… and, yes, we promise to be less sinful hereon…

I remember a powerful scene in Jesus Christ’s life. A mob of hardcore Pharisees have dragged a sinful woman – a prostitute – and thrown her in front of Him. “This woman leads an adulterous and sinful life,” they breathe fire before Jesus, “The Law of Moses commands us to stone this woman to death… What have you got to say?”

The Pharisees have asked this question to trap Jesus… They are waiting for the answer with stones in their hands.

Jesus takes a pause… moves a few steps forward, bends down and writes on the sand:
“The one among you, who has not sinned, let him cast the first stone!”

Within seconds, the stones fall off the hands… and, one by one, the hateful Pharisees disappear from the scene…

The woman falls on Jesus’ feet and cries… pleads for mercy…

Jesus helps the woman to stand up…and says, “Go in peace… and sin no more.”

I get goosebumps each time I revisit this scene!

“How could Jesus expect the woman to ‘sin’ no more? After all, she would continue to live in this imperfect world and she would continue to be an imperfect human like everyone around her… Therefore, she would continue to sin… Wouldn’t she?

Yes, she would. But, Jesus did not want her to continue to live life of a prostitute… lead an adulterous life for which the hardcore wanted her to be stoned to death…

The woman was Mary Magdalene… She continued to be by Jesus’ side, even till the Cross!


“If you're trying to get out of a hole, stop digging.” This is an old proverb and it shall remain eternally relevant …

In life, whatever ‘hole’ – the unpleasant situation – we find ourselves in, the first thing we should do, if we wish to get out of the ‘hole’ is: Stop digging further… Yes, stop making the same mistake again… Stop drinking, stop smoking, stop womanizing, stop cheating, lying and misleading… stop harassing others, stop being vengeful, egoistic… stop spending money like kings, stop careless borrowing… stop pleasing the world, stop getting carried away by glamour and our fair-weather friends…

If cheating and misleading others has got me into this ‘hole’, the only way to get out of it is to stop cheating and misleading anymore… Yes, stop digging the same hole…

Only then can a promise be kept… A new path can be paved… A new life can be lead!

This is Lent… A time for contemplation!

GERALD D’CUNHA 

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