Philippine Independence Day
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/ Year I (June 12, 2016)
Jesus was invited for a dinner by Simon the Pharisee. During dinner, a woman went to Jesus and bathed Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed them and anointed them with perfume. Simon knew that the woman was a sinner and he could not justify in his mind why Jesus let her go near to Him. Jesus knew what Simon was thinking and so He said to him: “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; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little” (Lk 7:44b-47).
Simon, being a Pharisee, thought that he was a good man in the sight of man and of God. He thought that he never needed Jesus or His forgiveness. Consequently, even though Jesus was his guest, he did not give to Jesus the traditional honors being given to a guest. He felt no love for Jesus and thus he was not forgiven. On the other hand, the woman was conscious of her sinfulness and of her need to be forgiven. For this reason, she was overwhelmed with love for Jesus who could supply her needs. She then gave to Jesus in extraordinary manner the traditional honors deprived to Him by Simon. Consequently, the sinful woman was forgiven.
Like Simon the Pharisee, we often think that we are good and that we do not need forgiveness. That is why we seldom go to confession and avail of the divine forgiveness of the loving and merciful God. But the truth is that we are sinners and that we need God the way the sinful woman needed Jesus. We are not aware of our sinfulness because we seldom examine our consciences before God and Jesus’ teachings. We need to humble ourselves in front of God and accept that we are but sinners. The best thing that we can do is only an ordinary obligation for us in the eyes of God. We have to remember that we are simply creatures of God and His servants. God does not owe us anything and He is not obliged to do something for us. Moreover, it is our obligation to glorify Him by fulfilling His commandments and the teachings of Jesus.
What is striking is that what Simon was not able to do, the sinful woman was able to fulfill in unexpected way; what Simon did not obtain in his conversation with Jesus, the woman got in her service to Jesus – the forgiveness. And what people were thinking to be a good person, the Pharisee, was actually not good for Jesus and what they were thinking to be sinful in the eyes of God, the woman, was good for Jesus as she was forgiven by Jesus. This is striking to us because we are used to judging others and we usually convince ourselves to be better than them. We must know that God’s way is not our way and that His judgment is not the same as our judgment for we do not see the hearts and consciences of everybody. We must not therefore judge others. Rather we must submit ourselves to the mercy of God. God loves all of us and so, we must also love God. God sacrificed so much for the love of us; we must also sacrifice for the love of God. God has shown His love for us by showering us with a lot of blessings in our lives and families. We must also show our love for Him by fulfilling His commandment of loving and serving God through our neighbor. Indeed, whenever we help the needy, we directly glorify God for Jesus says: Whatever you do to the least, you do it to me.