THURSDAY, TWENTY FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, Martyrs
1 Tim 4: 12-16; Ps 111: 7-10; Lk 7: 36-50
A HUMBLE SINNER OR A SELF-RIGHTEOUS SAINT?
“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest”. Few persons have obeyed this invitation of Jesus more dramatically than the woman in today’s gospel. We don’t know her name, and thus she is universal, she is ‘everyone’. Whether we are great sinners as she was considered to be, or ordinary ones, she is our spiritual director in the journey of conversion, teaching us to lose our hearts to Jesus and live for him. She is mindful of her sins, but more conscious of Jesus and his love. Though she was a woman publicly known as a sinner, she had a heart filled with repentant love. The Pharisee Simon however, who was a religious authority and a teacher of God’s merciful law, had neither forgiven her nor cared to see her as being more than a sinner.
We can often be very proud of our ‘Christianness’, our sanctity, our morality, forgetting how fragile we are and vulnerable to falling. Consequently, we enter into an attitude of superiority, judging the ‘lesser men and women’ around us from our self-constructed moral pedestal. Simon was not just proud of being a Jew; he was a proud Jew as well, proud of his ‘Jewishness’, proud to be ‘better’ than the woman. Yet, for all his ‘Jewishness’ he could recognize neither the Son of God, nor the ways of God – compassion and mercy. In fact, the woman, in all her sinfulness, knew God better.
Being a Christian doesn’t just mean knowing about God; it means knowing the heart of God, revealed in the person of his son. It is in the attitudes of the heart that holiness lies, that ‘Christianness’ lies. It is this change in the way of looking at others and ourselves, from a human to a divine perspective, from a judgemental to a compassionate attitude, from being proud of our capacity for goodness to humbly accepting our fragility, that characterizes our spiritual journey.
Response: Great are the works of the Lord.
Copyright ©2021 ©Springs of Living Water http://springs.carmelmedia.in