11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C June 13th, 2010

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Dear friends:

Today’s gospel describes to us many characteristics of Jesus, namely sociability, his enjoyment of hospitality, his sympathy towards the sinner, his power of forgiveness of sins.

The gospel says.” And a woman in the city. who was a sinner, having learned that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment (Lk.7.37-38). It is unusual even today for a woman to wipe the feet with her hair. It was more unusual at the time of Our Lord Jesus to do so, It shows that Jesus did not conform himself to the customs of the time. What the woman did, shows that she was under the influence of grace. She was determined to lead a new life. Who was this woman?

The woman in today’s gospel is left unnamed but states: this woman was a public sinner. She, no doubt, heard the call of Jesus to repentance and His invitation “come to me all you that labor and are heavily laden and I will give you rest” These gracious words of Jesus convinced her that the kingdom of heaven was open even to her and that Jesus was the One who welcomed sinners.

She desperately wanted someone to forgive her sin she wanted someone to sympathize with her; she wanted someone to accept her. All those who used and abused her but none regarded her with any resemblance of respect. But now she found Jesus who condemned sin but welcomed sinners. At some point in her life, the words of Jesus had melted her heart. She repented and surrendered her soul to God. She watched Jesus enter into Simon’s house and she followed him into that Pharisee’s house to show forth her love and faith for the many sins forgiven. Her tears, kisses and perfumes, which she lavished upon the feet of Jesus, were but the manifestation of her tremendous love and gratitude to the one who bought her peace and reconciliation with God.

Let us therefore approach Jesus and lay not only our hearts but also our lives at His feet and ask Him to forgive our sin and help us to rebuild our lives.

Fr. Chris.