Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, and Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs


The Gospel according to Luke 7:36-50

A certain 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; hence, 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."

Reflection

Our Lord and all the invited guests were already reclined at table (literally laying on their side as was the custom), relaxed, and perhaps already eating. An uninvited guest, a sinful woman in the city, walks in the Pharisee’s house carrying an alabaster flask of ointment, stood behind Jesus at his feet weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Pause!! Can you imagine this scene? The audacity of this woman must have shocked them – no embarrassment, no amount of humiliation was going to stop her from seeking Jesus to unload her burden. She couldn’t bear it any longer.

By this time, all eyes were on her as she was drying our Lord’s feet with her hair and anointing them with ointment. Jesus, unfazed by what she is doing, has his eyes fixed on Simon, reading his mind, and says, Simon, I have something to say to you. Tell me teacher, he said. Maybe he should have said, I’m scared Lord, please don’t! Jesus showed Simon how small was his repentance and his love for God in comparison with the great repentance and love of this sinful woman who had washed his feet with her tears and lavished his feet and head with ointment. So I tell you, our Lord says, her many sins have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. She had not uttered a word about her sins, but her love for Jesus and her tears cried out for forgiveness.

The Lover of our souls is attracted by those who love much. How much do I love Jesus? Not enough. Does my heart cry out for forgiveness? Even my venial sins hurt our Lord, who is perfect and deserving of all my love. With all my heart, I ask for a healthy fear of the Lord and our Blessed Mother’s protection to prevent me from causing Him any further pain.


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