September 18, 2014

Sept. 18

September 18, 2014:  Thursday, 24th week, Ordinary Time



  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him..." (gospel)
  • 'Feet' tie:  "...and began to bathe his feet with her tears." (gospel)
  • Brown suspenders, slacks, sandals, and socks:  wood of the Cross (Sunday and Monday readings)

The Pharisee judged both Jesus and the woman, thinking if Jesus were a prophet, he'd know who she was.  He's not a bad man; he just couldn't understand her gesture.  Maybe he'd forgotten how to caress a baby or console a grandmother.  Jesus rebuked him with humility and tenderness; with patience and love he explained her gesture and pointed out the Pharisee’s lack of courtesy.  And he told the woman: "Your sins are forgiven...."  He said "Your faith has saved you" only to the woman who admitted and wept for her sins, not to the ones who didn't believe they were sinners.  Salvation only enters when we open our hearts to the truth of our sins.
The privileged place to encounter Christ is in our sins.  Paul boasted only of his sins and Christ who saved him.  Acknowledging our sins opens us to the Lord’s caress, forgiveness, and salvation.  Jesus told the hypocrites, "Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom before you."  Those who feel themselves sinners encounter Jesus, who gave His blood for us all.
  • 1 Cor 15:1-11  Through the Gospel you're being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached.  Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised in accordance with the Scriptures; he appeared to Cephas, then the Twelve, then more than 500, then James, then the Apostles, then me.  I'm unfit to be called Apostle because I persecuted the Church, but I am by God's grace....
    Wordle: Readings 9-18-14
  • Ps 118:1b-2, 16ab-17, 28  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."  His mercy endures forever.  I'll live and declare God's works....
  • Lk 7:36-50  A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him.  A sinful woman came, bathed Jesus' feet with tears, wiped them with her hair, and kissed and anointed them.   Pharisee:  "If he were a prophet, he'd know she was a sinner.”  Jesus / Simon:  “One owed five hundred days’ wages, another fifty.  Neither could repay, and the creditor forgave them both.  Who will love him more?” / “I suppose the one who owed more.” / “Right.  This woman bathed my feet with her tears and kissed and anointed them.  Her sins have been forgiven; she showed great love.  But the one forgiven little loves little.”  To her:  “Your sins are forgiven.  Go in peace.”  Others:  “Who is this who forgives sins?”
    • Creighton:  The Pharisee felt obliged to host Jesus but did so begrudgingly:  he didn't wash Jesus' feet, and he criticized his judgment of character.  The sinful woman, dismayed the host didn't wash Jesus’ feet (and so insulted him and disgraced the village), burst into tears, washed Jesus’ feet, and broke taboos by letting down her hair.  Jesus says the woman had been forgiven, and her loving reaction (to the host’s discourtesies) was the result.  Maybe we don't realize how we've been forgiven; otherwise we wouldn't let anything stand in the way of our serving those in need...
    • One Bread One Body:  Our identity, like Paul's, is based on God's grace, on our relationship with Jesus, not our job...
    • Passionist:  Jesus saw into the woman's heart; Simon looked at her externals and saw a sinner.  Jesus saw love; Simon, her bad reputation.  Jesus welcomed her; Simon criticized her.  We take comfort that Jesus sees our desire, not our failures or limitations.  If we love, we can hope and long for Jesus telling us, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
    •  The woman's forgiveness- and gratitude-fueled extravagant love for Jesus motivated her action.  She spent the most precious thing she had on Jesus.  The parable of the two debtors parable is similar to that of the unforgiving official (Mt 18:23-35) where the forgiven servant was unforgiving.  Great love springs from a forgiven heart.  "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pet 4:8).  Love motivated the Father to send Jesus to offer his life for us.  Do I accept God's mercy?

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