Faith Daily | 16 September 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p581
without you we are not able to please you:
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 7: 36-50
36One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 39Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” 40Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.” 41“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Peter Brady
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus asks more than 300 questions. Each time He does so, not because He wanted to know the answer, but to prompt someone to reflect on their view of themselves, of others and of their relationship with God and in the process obtain new understanding.
In asking, ‘do you see this woman?’, Jesus is inviting Simon the Pharisee to reappraise his preconceived views and see her as He does, someone who loves God, is loved by God and, because of that, is forgiven. The next logical step, of course, is that having done that, Simon must then reappraise his view of himself as righteous and not needing forgiveness.
Because God transcends space and time Jesus is also directing the question at us, even though 2,000 years separate us and Simon. When we look at someone else, what do we see in them and ourselves? Do we see only the (perceived) bad in them and good in us? Or can we do what Simon could not and put aside our prejudices and biases and see them - and ourselves - as flawed beings who are, nonetheless, equally loved by God our Father?
Father, You have forgiven us our most terrible sins, those we know about and those we do not. We come to You today, just as the woman came to Jesus. Take away our sins and give us the power to change. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.