Saturday 2 April 2016

11th Sunday of Ordinary time, year’C’ 11e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année ’C’

"One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at his house and took his place at table, suddenly a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town.

2 S 12,7-10,13; Ps 31 ; Ga 2.16-19-21; Lk.7, 36à 8,3 brève : 7,36-50

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’C’

She had heard he was dining with the Pharisees and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with anointment."

This sinner who has lost her honour in the world no longer exists as a person in the world yet she sense she can still give something to Jesus. She was able to come weeping to Jesus, covering his feet with her tears and adorn his feet with kisses and perfume.

By this body language she managed to tell Jesus of her love and at the same time of her respect towards him.

Jesus’ gives a limpid reply to Simon’s questioning : ’Her sins, her many sins, have been forgiven because she has shown a great deal of love.’

We can imagine how the Pharisees were taken aback! In fact this concerns us all. What is there in the depths of our heart will one day be made apparent when ever the opportunity is given; we might speak of our ’subconscious’ that rises up : ’On seeing this woman, the Pharisee who had invited Jesus said to himself ’If this man is a prophet he would know who that woman is who is touching him and how she is a sinner.’

In fact it is a question of the unconditional Love of Jesus and this woman benefits from it.

"Jesus said to Simon ’’I have something to say to you.’ ’Speak, Master, ’he answered. There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hindered denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?’

’The one who was let off more, I suppose’.

Jesus said ’You are right.’

The Pharisees’ judgement leans upon what he knows about this woman who had got close to Jesus.This woman shows how capable she is to love very much and who was welcomed just as she was by Jesus, is restored into the grace of forgiveness.

The way of love passes through the way of recognising one’s own faults and by confessing them. And so we discover the grace freely given to us, without us having deserved it in the first place. Faced with this woman, the Pharisees could have thought themselves to be ’just’! No it is nothing of the sort. We all have such strong defences that we are unable to look squarely at reality! Jesus came to free us from all these barriers, but we still need him to ask him to do so. In her own way which is touching, this woman does just this, asks for her liberation.

“For his reason oi tell you that her sin, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.’.

Then he turned to the woman and said ’Your sins are forgiven.’

Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves ’Who is this man, that even forgives sins?’

But he said to the woman ’Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

This woman comes to show such great love, she has the experience of Jesus’ forgiveness. She goes into a new quality of love, a greater love is born in her.

What is important for us is to recognise the immensity of Jesus’ merciful Love. We can only experience this Love of God for us only to the extent that we are forgiven, and so we come to the understanding of God’s Love that gives us the grace of a greater purity of heart.

We are admitted to the Eucharistic feast of Love, remembering how we are unworthy to receive it, but how only one Word from god is enough in order to purify us from our sins and raise us up again into his Love. The proof that God loves us is that He still welcomes us today whereas we are unworthy of this, sinners forever given, restored and purified in Love.

We ask for the grace to change our gaze so as to encounter the Infinite Love of Jesus!