In today’s gospel (below) we have the contrast between the calculated, limited hospitality of Simon the Pharisee and the lavish generosity / love of the Woman with the Bad Reputation. We also have the lavish commitment and sacrifice of the Korean Martyrs to aspire to. Below is a reflection from the Sept edition of the ALIVE newspaper that encourages us to be generous with God.
Be practical, find God THE Jesuit priest, Pedro Arrupe (d.1991) (left) was one of the most recognisable leaders of the Catholic Church in the 1960s, the years after Vatican Council II. He was in love with God. And being in love with God enabled him to see God in all things. He wrote in 1981: “Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. “It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything. May we, like Arrupe, strive for such a love so that it may decide who we are and what we become.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 7:36-50
Her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love.
One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee 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 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 this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has’. Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you’. ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right’.
Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’. Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’.
The Gospel of the Lord.