Thursday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feasts: Pope Saint Cornelius—Martyr (c. +253) Patron Saint of Earache Suffers and Domestic Animals; Saint Cyprian—Bishop, Martyr (c-+258) Patron Saint of Christian Thought and Practice
1 Timothy 4:12-16, Psalm 111:7-8, 9, 10, & Luke 7:36-50
In today's Gospel narrative, Saint Luke recounts the beautiful story of Jesus meeting a woman known to be a sinner. Interestingly, our Lord had just rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. The only people Jesus continually chastised were religious leaders. Immediately following this action, "a certain Pharisee" invited Him to dinner at his home. As they were eating, a woman appeared at our Lord's feet. Why did she come to Jesus? She must have heard of Him, as He showed Himself as a kind and understanding man. She stood at His feet weeping and then bathed and anointed His feet. Simon, the Pharisee, thinks, "doesn't this great prophet know who is touching Him?" Jesus reads his heart and tells Simon the brief story of two people in debt to the same man, and since neither would repay the man, he canceled the debts of both. Jesus asked Simon, "Who would love more?" Simon replied, "The one that was forgiven more."
Friends, Jesus took Simon's response to show how all her sins had been forgiven; hence, she showed great love. Our Lord is telling us where little is forgiven; little love is shown. Simon had little to be forgiven, but he would never love as this woman. It appears her very sinfulness carved out a greater capacity to love within her. Since she was forgiven much, she would love much. Jesus proceeds to deal with us in this same way. We become even greater lovers when we honestly bring our weaknesses and sins to the Lord and receive His ever-present forgiveness.
The good news is that there is hope for us sinners. Nothing can separate us from God, and God brings good out of evil for which we are "eternally" grateful.
Question of the Day: Will you accept God's forgiveness by turning to Him in unconditional love?
Prayer: "How great are the works of the Lord!" —Psalm 111