Thursday of the 24th Week of the Year

Luke 7:36-50

The Pardon of the Sinful Woman

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

This is a dramatic story. But we would miss the point if we concentrate on the drama only. It is a story that gives us much to think.

Simon – he was not conscious of any wrongdoing. He felt no love and so he closed himself to God’s mercy and grace. He thought of himself as a good person. But self-righteousness and self-sufficiency shut us off from God and His grace. One of the greatest sins is being convinced to have to no sin at all.

The woman – she has to be admired for her courage. She had realized that she had sinned, but she was not discouraged. She did not shrug her shoulders thinking, ‘I am a hopeless case. It’s too late for me to change.’ She also still believe that God would be willing to forgive her. There was real love and trust in her. She felt the need of God’s intervention and was ready to go through even a shameful scene like the one created in the house of the Pharisee.

Admitting one’s sins alone is not enough, because it can lead to spiritual pessimism. And to believe that is willing to forgive can lead to automatic confession and cheap grace. Both attitudes must come together, carried by love for God and trust in his mercy. Then the miracle of true repentance takes place. Life takes a different direction and a major step is done toward perfection and holiness. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Two kinds of penitents come to the fore in the sacrament of confession. There are those who accuse themselves seriously, who are heartily sorry for having offended God. But there are also many who accuse others, their husband or wife, their neighbor, the environment, in-laws, the boss in the office who caused them to flare up, to hate to be uncharitable. Instead of accusing themselves and so miss the mercy of God.

How different is the prostitute in today’s gospel. She heard and saw Jesus. She allowed herself to be overwhelmed by His goodness, mercy and compassion. She compared herself not with others but with Jesus and so had no excuses. She did not blame the men who had used her but exposed herself in her sinfulness, ready to take whatever might come. She showed her deep sorrow and contrition, her readiness to give up her way of life – and she was forgiven.

A confession in the spirit of this sinful woman touches the heart of Jesus and opens the gate to His mercy and compassionate forgiveness. At times, we can learn from a great sinner more than from a saint. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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(Let us reflect on the Three actions made by the sinful woman). The arrival of the “sinful woman” provides such an opportunity for Jesus to teach the Pharisees and ourselves as well, lessons we need to learn. First, we ask ourselves how we behave towards the Lord. How do we pray? Do we present Him right away with our “prayer requests,” or do we render Him praise, worship and thanksgiving first, above all else? How do we behave in church? Is our behavior or participation in the liturgy befitting the Almighty God from whom all our blessings flow?

Second, Jesus presents the “sinful woman” as the example for our behavior towards him. The “bathing with tears, and wiping with her hair” express sincere repentance and a conversion unto the Lord. Her kissing Jesus’ feet indicates her heartfelt welcome for the Lord into her life and her anointing of the Lord’s feet expresses her profound acknowledgment of Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She may have sinned much but being forgiven much, her love for the Lord was overflowing.

We can imagine heaven as a place where God is always glorified, loved and adored forever more by his angels and His saints and rightly so. But God-made-flesh in Jesus Christ sees that such is not the case here on earth where mere mortals ignore and even despise Him. May this not be the case with us. For having been forgiven much, may we learn also, like the woman in today’s gospel, to love Him much and more. (Fr. Lino Nicasio, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Twenty years ago I saw a comic strip with the tile, Kapatid, Umaga Na!

On its cover was the picture of an exhausted by happy NPA arriving home after a long absence and being joyfully embraced by his wife and children. The message was that the nightmare of isolation, misunderstanding and suffering was over and a new day was beginning, a time of new opportunities, a time when people who had previously been separated could now live and grow again together.

Again and again in the Bible, Jesus imparts forgiveness and self respect to people who have been isolated and rejected by other people due to sin, leprosy, and other reasons. Through Jesus ministry they are reconciled and reintegrated into the community and continue their life in joyful loving service, in harmony and peace with others.

We are all sinners, yet everyone of us is forgiven and accepted by God. Unfortunately we are not yet accepted by some other people, so much like the Pharisee in the gospel who condemned the sinful woman and Jesus Himself. We ourselves often look down on others and impede their acceptance in the community. Msgr. Ruperto C. Santos writes: “We can say that man condemns but God will continue to forgive. Man resorts to punishment but God will always be merciful. Man accuses but God will never stop to understand, to run after the lost, accept us again….”

Twenty years on, in our country and in the whole of creation, morning has not yet completely broken. But we Christians know that the dawn is coming and we are or should be agents of forgiveness, acceptance and reconciliation. If we could imitate God’s attitude to us, instead of creating Him in our own image and likeness. We would experience not just in our minds but especially in our hearts the love, mercy, understanding and forgiveness of God and like the woman with the ointment, we would begin to live accordingly and treat other people accordingly also, with love. (Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Bible Dairy 2008)

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YOU….THE SINNER: When you hear the word sinner, who do you remember? Some of you will remember a philandering husband. Some of you will remember a nagging wife, a government official who is corrupt or has mistresses. Some of you will perhaps remember dishonest customs or BIR personnel or the prostitutes of Ermita. But when God says, “I have come to call sinners,” He is not talking of only the people above or even of any other person but YOU.

When you hear the word sinner, do not think of other people. Remember YOUSELF.

You must tell yourself, “When I hear the word, sinner, I must remember that I am a sinner.” Because if you hear the word sinner and the first person that comes to your mind are other people, then you have actually committed a sin of self-righteousness.

When God said, “I have come to call sinners.” He was not actually playing favorites. He was actually saying, “I have come to call all men and women,” because all men and women are sinners.

Again, ask yourself, who you remember when you hear or read the word, sinner”?

If the first time I asked you this, the first person who came to your mind was another person, be very careful.

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It happened to me once while facilitating a Bible seminar in a parish in the interior of Agusan del Sur. Among the participants was an old farmer who wanted, by all means, to take part in the activity. To be honest, I was expecting younger people to join the apostolate, thinking they would add more energy, creativity, and continuity to it. As the seminar went on, I got to know that old man better. In fact, he turned out to be a clear example of what it is to bring God’s word down to our daily life and put it into practice. He had been serving a small community in a remote area as volunteer catechist for more than thirty years. His simple words during the group sharing had more content and life than mine about the Bible.

Like the Pharisees in the gospel, I was very fast at labelling the appearance of another person without first trying to encounter that person’s heart. Every single day God puts in our way different faces of people. Each one of them is a message, an opportunity to encounter Christ in person. The Pharisee had invited a ‘teacher’ for a meal, but it was the woman who encountered Jesus. God’s mercy was manifested through Jesus in the woman with no name but with enough love in her heart to become the focus of Jesus’ attention and care. (Fr. Marcelo Cattaneo, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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The woman showed her great affection for Jesus by wiping Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying the feet with her hair, kissing the feet and anointing the feet with perfumed oil. For many Bible scholars these acts are gestures proper to a conjugal act between husband and wife! Through these acts of the woman, we are then reminded that this is what Jesus expects of our relations with him. It must be a relationship beyond mere friendship. It is deep relationship – a covenant love.

In contrast, Simon the Pharisee welcomed Jesus out of mere perfunctory motives. Many times, this is where our relationship with God is – on the level of duty, and polite reasons, but never up close and personal (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday, published 2006 p. 279).

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The woman was able to do what she did because she experienced the great love of Jesus first, a love whose measure is forgiveness, a forgiveness whose measure is according the all the peace and healing that she needed. The woman’s act was flowing from a heart deep with gratitude. Yes, a grateful heart never forgets (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday, published 2006 p. 280).

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In today’s first reading, Paul explains how the mercy of God continues on in the ministry of the Church. Paul includes himself as one of those who give witness to the mercy of God. He says that he does not deserve to be an apostle, but “by God’s favour I am what I am.”

In today’s gospel Jesus is invited to supper at the house of Simon, the Pharisee. While he is there, a woman who is known to be a public sinner breaks into the dinner party.. she weeps, and her tears fall upon his feet. She then wipes his feet with her hair and anoints them with perfumed oil. Jesus, reading the heart of Simon, knows he is making a judgment on Jesus and on the woman, so he tells Simon the parable of the debtor, thus exposing him for his judgments. He points out to Simon how the woman extends to him the hospitality that Simon has not. Jesus then tells the woman that her sins are forgiven, and she can go in peace.

Sometimes it is necessary to help another to see his sin or fault, as Jesus did with Simon. It is a difficult thing to do. We need to expose the sin, without making a moral judgment on the person. Often it is hard to differentiate between the two, and we can find ourselves assigning motives to a person’s actions. This is something which we must not do. God alone reads hearts. If we examine our own conscience when we consider bringing to light the faults of another, we may see that we are not motivated by truth in love. We need to reflect on the Lord’s compassionate, loving heart and on his gentle way of dealing with us.

Both Paul and the woman who knelt at the Lord’s feet acknowledged that they were sinners. It is difficult for us to know and admit our sins. While we may say that we are sinners, it is hard for us to acknowledge it within ourselves. Often we keep judgments and resentments within our hearts like Simon, who grumbled interiorly in today’s gospel. But when we open our hearts to the Lord, he enlightens us. Then, in the sacrament of reconciliation, he washes us in his merciful love and tells us to “go in peace.”

As I search my heart, do I find resentment and judgment of others lurking there? If so, of what am I resentful, or of whom am I in judgment? What am I going to do about it? Am I willing to extend mercy to others as the Lord has extended mercy to me? (Pondering the Word the Anawim Way – August 26, 2012 to October 13, 2012, Cycle B Year II September 19, 2012 pp, 127-128).

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V. 38 – The sinful woman demonstrates by silent example some qualities of

LOVE:

L – Lavish

O – Open (not secret)

V – Visible (seen)

E – Expressive

Sow your love. let people know about it. Show it with the world’s riches (Fr. Ching OP).

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September 20, 2012

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions, martyrs
(M) RED

1 Cor 15:1-11
Ps 118
Lk 7:36-50

The Pardon of the Sinful Woman

36A Pharisee invited [Jesus] to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. 37Now 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, 38she 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. 39When 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.” 40Jesus 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. 42Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” 43Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then 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. 45You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. 47So 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.” 48He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Reflection:

She has shown great love. Simon the Pharisee welcomes Jesus, but the reception is superficial. He does not even show Jesus the customary signs of welcome—a kiss, washing of feet, and anointing of head. On the other hand, the woman shows more than the signs of welcome; with her tears, she expresses her profound love or gratitude for God’s forgiveness.

Simon is also forgiven. But the woman shows more gratitude, more appreciation, for God’s gift of forgiveness. Simon may love Jesus, but not as much and not as deep as the woman does.

How do you manifest gratitude for God’s gift of forgiveness?

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1984-september-20-2012

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Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Lucas 7:36-50. Kinsa man ang makadawat sa pasaylo sa Dios? Ang Pariseo nga si Simon nakakita sa pagkamasalaypon sa babaye nga ningduol kang Jesus. Pero, wala niya nakita ang iyang kaugalingong kakulangon. Sa kultura sa mga Judiyo, giisip nga maayong pamatasan ang paghugas sa mga tiil sa usa ka bisita diha sa panimalay. Apil niini mao ang paghalok sa aping sa bisita ug pagdihog og lana sa iyang ulo. Kining tulo ka buluhaton wala himoa ni Simon ngadto kang Jesus nga iyang bisita. Ug wala gani siya nibati og kabalisa sa iyang pagkulang sa maayong pamatasan. Sa laing bahin, ang babaye nasayod sa iyang pagkamakasasala. Gibuhat niya ang tanan aron mahulipan ang iyang daotang binuhatan. Tungod niini, siya, dili si Simon, ang nakadawat og kapasayloan gikan sa Dios. (Fr. Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2013/09/thursday-of-24th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

THURSDAY OF THE 24TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 7:36-50. KINSA MAN ANG MAKADAWAT SA PASAYLO SA DIOS? Ang Pariseo nga si Simon nakakita sa pagkamasalaypon sa babaye nga ningduol kang Hesus. Pero, wala niya nakita ang iyang kaugalingong kakulangon. Sa kultura sa mga Hudiyo, giisip nga maayong pamatasan ang paghugas sa mga tiil sa usa ka bisita diha sa panimalay. Apil niini ang paghalok sa aping sa bisita ug pagdihog og lana sa iyang ulo. Kining tulo ka mga buluhaton wala buhata ni Simon ngadto kang Hesus nga iyang pinasidunggang bisita. Maayo lang siya namantay sa sayop sa uban, apan sa iya wala. Dalaygon kining babaye tungod kay gidawat niya ang iyang pagkamakasasala. Gibuhat niya ang tanan aron mahulipan ang iyang daotang binuhatan. Tungod niini, siya, dili si Simon, ang nakadawat og kapasayloan gikan sa Dios. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/thursday-of-24th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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WON BY LOVE: “So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven, hence; she has shown great love.” – Luke 7:47

Norma McCorvey was young, poor and desperate when she became pregnant for the third time in the 1970s and so she sought legal abortion. Two Ivy League feminist lawyers used her case to promote abortion rights in Texas. Norma became their plaintiff under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” in the Roe vs. Wade case of 1973, where the US Supreme Court ruled that individual state laws banning abortion were unconstitutional.

In 1994, Norma became a Christian. In her book, Won by Love, published in 1998, she speaks out for the unborn as she shares her new conviction for life. “All those years I was wrong…. Abortion — at any point — was wrong,” she said.

A small child’s affection, a mother’s trust, and friendship with a Christian man led Norma to the love, forgiveness and hope offered by Jesus Christ. She became a pro-life activist and is fighting to make abortion illegal. In 1998, she became a Catholic.

Norma’s story of conversion proves that not even our darkest sin can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). His forgiveness and unconditional love will heal your deepest wounds and use you to heal others.Marjorie Ann Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)

Reflection: Take His offer of grace and mercy. His love will restore you to wholeness.

Lord Jesus, forgive us our sins. May we never lead others to sin. Fill our hearts with Your love that we may love others as You love us.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-18

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1ST READING: Paul explains to us the nature of tradition — handing on to the next generation what we have received from the previous one. In this way the Gospel is kept alive and vibrant. Each generation must embrace the Gospel truths in the way appropriate to them, but the core truths are untouchable and immutable. It is our solemn duty to hand them to the next generation unsullied by the sin of our own generation. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

GOSPEL: Let us be willing to waste our time and love on Jesus. Why? It is never a waste of our time and love to do this. It is not possible to love Jesus too much. The nature of the grace of God and the dynamic of salvation means that the more time we spend with God, the deeper we will enter into the mysteries of our faith. It is clear that we need to spend as much time as we can developing our faith. Luke 7:36-50

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-18

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EXTRAVAGANT LOVE: Simon the Pharisee must have been excited when Jesus responded to his invitation to come and dine at his house. This well-reputed Jesus interested the Pharisees and Simon presumably wanted to know more about this man. We are not aware of his motives but it seems like a friendly invitation on the part of the Pharisee. However, it all went horribly wrong. Can you imagine the look on Simon’s face when the woman (who had a bad name in that town) storms into his dinner party and begins to act extravagantly towards Jesus?

While Simon is aghast, Jesus recognizes His host’s disapproval and the thoughts running through his mind. Jesus responds to this in His true prophetic manner by addressing a parable to the host. After posing a question related to the parable, Jesus commends Simon for answering correctly. Then He proceeds to attack the Pharisee and his halfhearted response to the little ones of the Kingdom of God.

First, Jesus rebukes Simon for showing no form of customary foot washing for his guest, which was proper for any visitor. He then rebukes him for offering no greeting of peace, the customary shalom. He performed none of the hospitality rituals known to the Jewish custom and, for this, the Pharisee is exposed to shame. As for the woman, the one who had a bad name in town, she acted extravagantly in her actions by pouring forth her love and respect. To make matters worse for the Pharisee, Jesus forgave the woman of her sins and she goes in peace — for she had loved much.

God can never be outdone in His generosity. Our affection, no matter how extravagant, will never match the love and mercy that God has shown us in Jesus. St. Therese of Lisieux tells us that God will fill whatever we give Him. We can bring Him a thimble, small as it is, and God will fill it with His grace. Or we can bring a gallon drum and God will fill that, too. The measure we give will be the measure given to us. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: In what ways do you show your loving affection to the Lord?

You are my God. I thank You and I praise You. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-18

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ALABASTER JAR – Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisees. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment. – Luke 7:37

To possess an alabaster jar of ointment meant only one thing: you’re rich. In those days, it was worth a year’s salary, like around US$20,000! It was so valuable that it usually served two purposes: as a dowry to anoint your husband with on your wedding night, or as a security for one’s future. For this woman, who was most probably a prostitute, having an alabaster jar filled with expensive oil was most likely her most treasured possession in the whole world.

act of breaking the jar at the feet of Jesus is like what the widow did when she gave her last coins in the temple. By breaking her alabaster jar, this woman gave up not only what could have been her dowry, but also her financial security for her future. She laid it all at the feet of Jesus and received something far more valuable than security.

What’s so valuable in your life that you can’t give up? An alabaster jar of a career, a dream, a love, a resentment or unforgiveness? Only when we can break it open at the feet of Jesus can He turn it into something beyond our wildest dreams. Ronna Ledesma (ronna_ledesma@yahoo.com.ph)

Reflection: The alabaster jar can only release its fragrance if you break it open.

Abba, continue to break every thing in me that refuses to surrender to Your Kingship until I am totally Yours.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-09-17

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RELYING WHOLLY ON THE GRACE OF GOD – In the course of my priestly ministry, I come across people who believe that  they do not really need Jesus to save them. They do not believe their sins are all that bad. It may be true that a person has never committed a mortal sin — it is often said that St. Therese of Lisieux never committed one — but that does not mean that we don’t need Jesus to save us. Every sin hinders our  relationship with God and it is only through the grace of the cross of Jesus that our sins are forgiven. Whether we like it or not, the only way we will be saved is through the salvific work of Jesus in His cross and resurrection.

One of the great temptations of Satan is that he tries to get us to diminish the effect of sin in our lives to the point that we can even become comfortable with it. I see this time and again in the confessional. I also know personally the temptation to fall into this trap. This is why in the writings of the saints, we will discover a horror for sin, no matter how small. They have embraced the call to rid their lives of all sins, not just the big ones. In this regard, we need to follow their example.

Little sins are the stepping stones to bigger sins. If we are honest with ourselves, we will be able to identify that dynamic precisely in our own lives. Sin should never be trifled with, not even in the smallest way. The wise and sensible person runs as far as he can from sin as soon as he recognizes it.

We need to cultivate a hatred for sin that never compromises our call to holiness. We should be truly serious about pursuing the call of salvation. Jesus never trifles with sin; He labels it for what it is and then turns His back on it. We should always do the same. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you tend to treat sin without the seriousness that it deserves? Do you allow yourself to toy with temptation as well?

Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to understand the full import of sin and temptation, so that I will never tolerate it a microsecond longer than when I first recognize it.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-09-17

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September 18, 2014, Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time: Laws and Empty Shells

Today’s Gospel presents before us a self-righteous Pharisee generously inviting Jesus to his house for a sumptuous meal, but not without reservations and expectations. He wanted his guest to abide by certain norms and conditions. Jesus refused to fit into those frames. He allowed a sinner woman to touch him and smear him with expensive ointment. Jesus ignored the norms of clean and unclean laid by the Pharisee. It was something beyond the host’s sensitivity to bear without resentment. He had certain preconceived ideas about how a prophet should behave. According to him the moment the sinner woman approaches a prophet; he should recoil and fend her off like dirt. Alas, here is a man who pretends to be a prophet, but enjoys the caressing of a wayward woman in public. In true Socratic style Jesus confronted his host and drew out of him the answer he needed. Then he diverts the host’s attention from the women to himself. He was made to understand the generosity of the sinner woman in contrast to his stinginess. Jesus challenged him for his self-righteousness. Nothing infuriated Jesus more than the self-righteous people. He warned his followers against being judgmental towards others. However passing judgments on others is one of the most satisfying hobbies that people regularly engage in. It gives them immense satisfaction and a rare opportunity to establish their own rectitude and superiority.

Generosity is a sign of divinity while rigidity borderlines ignorance and self-righteousness. Love is and should be the foundation of every law. Laws are like shells that enclose and safeguard the precious life within, which is love. As it happens always in nature, at the end of their lifespan the life contained in the shell perishes leaving behind the attractive empty shell. The shores of human societies and religions are always plagued by such empty shells in which crabs of hatred and snails of fear find their habitat or dirt of fear and corruption fill in. Every shell of law should be regularly scrutinized to make sure that it is still alive with love and not occupied by crabs of hatred, snails of fear and dirt of fear and corruption. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2014-09-18

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September 17, 2015

Thursday of the 24th Week in the Ordinary Time

1 Tim 4: 12-16, Lk 7: 36-50

Laws and Empty Shells

Today’s Gospel presents before us a self-righteous Pharisee generously inviting Jesus to his house for a sumptuous meal, but not without reservations and expectations. He wanted his guest to abide by certain norms and conditions. Jesus refused to fit into those frames. He allowed a sinner woman to touch him and smear him with expensive ointment. Jesus ignored the norms of clean and unclean laid by the Pharisee. It was something beyond the host’s sensitivity to bear without resentment. He had certain preconceived ideas about how a prophet should behave. According to him the moment the sinner woman approaches a prophet; he should recoil and fend her off like dirt. Alas, here is a man who pretends to be a prophet, but enjoys the caressing of a wayward woman in public. In true Socratic style Jesus confronted his host and drew out of him the answer he needed. Then he diverts the host’s attention from the women to himself. He was made to understand the generosity of the sinner woman in contrast to his stinginess. Jesus challenged him for his self-righteousness. Nothing infuriated Jesus more than the self-righteous people. He warned his followers against being judgmental towards others. However passing judgments on others is one of the most satisfying hobbies that people regularly engage in. It gives them immense satisfaction and a rare opportunity to establish their own rectitude and superiority.

Generosity is a sign of divinity while rigidity borderlines ignorance and self-righteousness. Love is and should be the foundation of every law. Laws are like shells that enclose and safeguard the precious life within, which is love. As it happens always in nature, at the end of their lifespan the life contained in the shell perishes leaving behind the attractive empty shell. The shores of human societies and religions are always plagued by such empty shells in which crabs of hatred and snails of fear find their habitat or dirt of fear and corruption fill in. Every shell of law should be regularly scrutinized to make sure that it is still alive with love and not occupied by crabs of hatred, snails of fear and dirt of fear and corruption. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-09-17

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The Healing Power of Love

September 17, 2015 (readings)

Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Robert Presutti

Luke 7:36-50

Introductory Prayer: Holy Trinity, I cannot see you, but you are with me. I cannot touch you, but I am in your hands. I cannot fully comprehend you, but I love you with all my heart.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to be humble and open to interior growth.

  1. Ostensible Openness and Spiritual Pride:Simon the Pharisee has an apparent openness to the Lord. He invites him to dine. He observes him. And he engages him in cordial dialogue. Nonetheless, we see that Simon interiorly judges the Lord, dismisses him as a farce, and ultimately rejects him. The Pharisaical attitude consists essentially in trying to force God into our own preconceived notions of how he should operate. The Pharisees had the correct view of moral precepts (both Simon and Jesus agree that this woman is a sinner). But they fail in recognizing their own sins, which are rooted in pride. This pride manifested itself in that unspoken attitude that God must adjust himself to our way of being and acting.
  2. Redemption:The Pharisee thinks he is sinless and does not admit that he needs a savior. His prideful attitude of “assessing” the Lord proceeds from a deeper pride that blinds him to who he really is before God: a simple creature in need of divine help and grace. Simon wants God to conform to his preconceptions, and winds up rejecting Christ. This is the paradigm of pride. It distorts reality and forges its own self-centered world that Christ cannot penetrate. The woman knows she is a sinner and recognizes the path to her salvation in the words and example of Jesus. She painfully realizes who she is and keenly longs for salvation. The words and example of mercy of Christ resonate deeply in her heart and invite her to repentance. This is the paradigm of humility. Its strength lies in a knowledge and serene acceptance of the truth and makes redemption possible.
  3. Christ’s Goodness:Our Lord’s loving treatment of both the woman and Simon displays a remarkable balance of kindness. He carefully avoids the opposite extremes of condemnation and indifference to others’ sins. The reason Our Lord is able to offer hope and consolation to the repentant sinner as well as to invite the proud with a gentle call to repentance is that Christ will die for both. In this we see Christ’s goodness. He comes to save us all, but we must choose to accept his goodness.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to realize who I am and who you are. Teach me gratitude for your goodness and hope in your mercy. Help me to recognize my pride and strive to overcome it so that you can fill my life with your goodness.

Resolution: I will avoid judging others today.

epriest.com/reflections/view/515

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the 24th Week of the Year

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