Gospel Reading and Thoughts for June 16, 2013

Holy MondayGospel – Luke 7:36-8:3

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now 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,
she 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.
When 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.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher, ” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then 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.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But he said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others who provided for them
out of their resources.


Sometimes I too feel like this woman, like I should fall at the feet of Christ with my eyes full of tears, daring to hope for forgiveness.  But my favorite part of this gospel is when her sins have been forgiven and Christ tells her, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”  What relief this woman must have felt!  What freedom and goodness filled her soul!

Forgiveness can do that for us and for our children too!  In addition to just saying “I’m sorry” for hurting one of their siblings either in word or action, I have them ask for forgiveness too.  I find it terribly humbling when I have lost my patience with my kids and have to ask for their forgiveness.  But when they accept my apology and forgive me, it fills my heart with that freeing relief and goodness that only God’s mercy can bring.

One last thing – a cute misinterpretation on the instructions to “Say you’re sorry.”  My two girls instead hear it as “Say your sorry.”  They will come back to report that they have said “their sorry.”  Even though it is just a grammatical error, it makes sense to make them own their sorry!


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