In today’s Gospel, we hear again the immortal words of Jesus in relation to the woman caught in adultery: ‘Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Even though we are sinners ourselves, we may have cast the stone of judgment at others. As we call to mind our sins, we might remember especially the harsh and unfair judgments we sometimes pass on others.
The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
upon the place beneath.
It is twice blest:
it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mighty;
it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
It is enshrined in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute of God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
when mercy seasons justice.
Therefore, though justice be thy plea, consider this--
that in the course of justice none of us should seek salvation.
We do pray for mercy,
and the same prayer doth teach us all
to render the deeds of mercy.