A reading from the gospel according to Luke 7:36-50
36 A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
37 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,
38 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.
39 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.”
40 Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty.
42 Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
44 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.
45 You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment.
47 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.”
48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The others at the table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Reflection: Invite Jesus
Good News: Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
The gospel reading shows us Jesus at the house of Simon the Pharisee. He invited Jesus to his home maybe because the latter was becoming a popular figure and perhaps, he can learn a thing or two or it could also be an added prestige to have a great teacher in his abode.
Yet even at the house of the Pharisee, Jesus was followed by a sinful woman. Because the woman brought an alabaster full of expensive oil which she used to wipe the feet of Jesus, we could assume that she is also a rich person. That could be the reason why she was able to enter the Pharisee’s home. They knew one another but because she was a sinner, she was looked down by Simon.
We are all like Simon the Pharisee. We look down at others and we often avoid people we consider as sinner or inferior. But not Jesus. He welcomes everyone. He looks at the heart. When we sincerely repent and seek His presence, He forgives our sins, no matter how great they are. He appreciates so much whatever little faith we have in Him.
Simon the Pharisee thought that Jesus was not a real prophet because He seemed to be ignorant of the background of the woman. Yet, when Jesus asked him a question, most probably he became aware that Jesus was actually reading his mind and that He is a real prophet. Indeed Jesus knew what we are thinking. He can read what is in our heart and mind.
There is a saying to the effect that we are who our friends are or we become what our friends are (“Tell me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”), Most certainly, this does not apply to our Lord who is a friend to sinners. He transforms them. As disciples of Jesus, may we be like Him – transformer of people.
Once again, let us continue to invite Jesus in our heart and in our home. As we repent and offer everything to Him, may we hear His voice telling us to go in peace. We ask Him to continuously transform us so that we will truly become the light that transforms others, not they transforming us.