Today’s gospel is very moving...
A tired soul, a wounded soul, a sinful soul had finally had enough.
She realized that she needed to live a better life and she understood that the only way she could get a fresh start was by publicly atoning for her public sins.
And so in a very dramatic way she came to the house of the Pharisee to ask forgiveness of Jesus and begin a new.
No one told her what to do or how to say I’m sorry she chose the way.
You know people sometimes convince themselves that sin is glamorous, or fun, or pleasurable, and it may be for a moment,
but once sin takes hold of you heart, once sin wraps itself around your soul, it is often painful and humiliating and degrading and most of all lonely.
Whenever I’ve talked to a person who has danced with sin for a while I am always so saddened by how lonely they are.
It’s next to impossible to sustain relationships with a person who is dupped or taken by sin.
When you look at Jesus in the Gospel you notice that even though he didn’t tell the woman what to do he didn’t stop her either.
He knew that she wanted and desperately needed forgiveness.
He knew she had lived a sinful life and had made horrible choices
He knew that she needed to say I’m sorry in a very public way and so he let her anoint his feet.
He didn’t push her away or rebuke her even though he knew it might cause a scandal.
And when she had finished her gesture, her apology, he forgave her publicly.
This Gospel shows us that God is rich in mercy.
Finally the pharisee considered himself a righteous before God and man yet He immediately jumped to conclusions...
He was sure that Jesus was a false a prophet because he allowed the sinful woman to anoint his feet.
He was sure that the woman was a public sinner not worthy of mercy and forgiveness.
He was wrong in all his judgements.
He was wrong about Jesus because by allowing the woman to say she was sorry and by forgiving the woman Jesus proved that God was merciful and that God loved sinners.
He showed us all that forgiveness is possible no matter what the sin or transgression.
He was wrong about the woman because while she may have been a sinner at one time God’s grace and God’s mercy had inspired her to change and ask forgiveness in a very public way.
With God’s forgiveness with God’s mercy she was a new creation. What was in the past was in the past.
And finally He was wrong about himself.
He was not righteous before God or man
He judged others. He put them in a box and he knew nothing of God’s mercy and God’s love which all of us are called to imitate.
There a lot in this gospel for all of us to ponder
How often do we put people in a box and judge them even when we don’t know the whole story.
How often do we fool ourselves into thinking that we are righteous.
How often do we say I’m sorry, or make amends for our poor choice and angry words, and selfish actions ?
Many of us fly off the handle and then cool off and act if nothing happened.
Never saying I’m sorry and never admitting that we are wrong.
I think we all know in our hearts that to be forgiven you have to ask for it.
The woman in the story was a great sinner who became a great saint.. because she asked for forgiveness
What’s holding us back?