Audio Readings September 19, 2013 24th Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr
1 Timothy 4:12-16; Psalm 111:7-10; Luke 7:36-50

Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. (Luke 7:37-38)

This story of the sinful woman’s encounter with Jesus is probably one of the most graphic, stirring narratives in the Bible. Try to imagine yourself right in the middle of the story, as one of the others reclining at Simon’s table with Jesus. Try to see what they would have seen.

The conversation is riveting. Jesus is explaining the kingdom of God, and then—she comes in. A brazen sinner. An outcast. You feel a little sullied just being near her. But as you wonder why she has barged in uninvited, you notice that she’s holding something, and her face is stained with tears.

She’s been crying. Her searching glance goes from face to face, but the moment her eyes meet Jesus’ gaze, she trembles and begins sobbing uncontrollably. Now she’s stooping low as she lets her tears drop onto Jesus’ bare feet, and she dries them with her hair.

Does Jesus know who is touching him? She tenderly anoints his feet. Tension fills the house, and right when you feel someone must say something, Jesus speaks. He’s not outraged, or even annoyed. Instead, he actually looks happy! Through the short parable he tells Simon, you begin to realize that Jesus is accepting this woman. He really is happy! You see that her tears are a mixture of sorrowful repentance and gratitude at being accepted by Jesus. Softly he tells her, “Your sins are forgiven… . Go in peace.” You wonder, If Jesus is happy to forgive her—is there anyone he won’t accept?

No, there isn’t! Jesus accepts you too, and with great joy. He knows exactly who you are. He has seen all of your sins. He knows that we all should be outcasts—no more deserving of heaven than this sinful woman. Yet if we just come to Jesus as she did, it is Jesus’ great pleasure to welcome us into his kingdom. It is his pleasure to tell us, “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.”

Today, give voice to your gratitude and love for Jesus. Thank him for ushering you into his heavenly home. Let your worship and praise pour out, anointing his feet and filling all of heaven with its fragrance!

“Thank you, Jesus!”~WAU

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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