"Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger." - C.S. Lewis: (1898 – 1963: was a British novelist, poet, and academic)
Gospel Text: (LK 7:36—8:3)
A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others who provided for them
out of their resources.
As humans, it is so difficult to be truly loving and forgiving persons, and we are tempted to take care of the appearances and thereby to acquire a reputation for virtuous living as we continue to be judgmental and unforgiving of our brothers and sisters. In many of the Gospel stories we hear about the attitude of Pharisee and publican. Now, if we try to describe what Pharisees would look like if they were living in today society, one may note, for example, that they would certainly attend Mass and follow all the rubrics of the mass but, on the way home, they would not hesitate to do a critical and negative assessment of other people.
It is indeed laudable to attend Mass and to observe all the rules of Christian conduct, but all of this careful observance is of no value if it is not accompanied by a genuine spirit of love and forgiveness.
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