Friday, June 10, 2016

June 12, 2016 - The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Forgiving Jesus

Year C:  Reflections on the Gospel of Luke 7:36-50

I have always been touched by the sinful woman's courage.  Propelled by intense love of for Jesus, she ignores the comments and disdainful glances of the Pharisees at Simon's banquet.  She humbly kneels at the feet of her Lord, washes them with her tears, dries them with her hair, gently kisses them, and lovingly anoints them.

Jesus, with great compassion, simply sits there allowing this despised woman to minister to him.  He graciously accepts her demonstration of sorrow and love.  He bends over to place his healing hand on her to reassure her of his love and forgiveness.  He does this  despite the ridicule of the bystanders.  What joy the sinful woman must have felt!  What peace! How she must have cherished this moment for the rest of her life.

How grateful the woman must have felt as he responded to the belittling remarks of the men.  He actually defended her and expressed his appreciation for her great love!  God is grateful for the imperfect love of his creature!!!  How can this be?  He must be absolutely crazy about us weak and sinful humans.That is something we need to pause over, savor, and ponder within our hearts.


For many years, I and others associated this happening with Mary Magdalene.  However, recent Biblical scholarship does not support this.  The association might have happened because the passage following this story mentions Mary Magdalene as being among the women following and supporting Jesus out of their own resources.  The mention of demons being driven out of her could well mean an illness.  At the time, illnesses were often viewed as possession by demons.  Jesus attempted to correct that notion in relation to the man born blind. When the question was asked whether it was his sins or the sins of his parents that caused the blindness, Jesus responded that it was neither. Jesus explained that he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

St. Katharine Drexel, in her journals, reminds herself  [and us] to believe in Him and the power of His words,"Woman thou art healed and in that same instant she is healed."


  1. This beautiful gospel story reminds me of the sacrament of Reconciliation. Although there are little to no words spoken, this woman exemplifies true remorse for her sins and her heart longs for Jesus’ closeness and forgiveness...a beautiful reflection, Sr. Annette!

  2. The picture you selected for this week's reflection is very powerful. When I look at the woman's face I sense her intense desire for forgiveness and healing. She looks as though she is in pain. The depth of her sorrow for sinning and longing for absolution from Jesus was stronger than her regard for the judgments of the Pharisee. Having received the forgiveness she sought, she will be able to testify, as did St. Paul(in the second Reading), "Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me...I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me." I imagine her joining the women who followed Jesus along with the Twelve disciples and of how different and satisfying her new life had become. Thank you, Sr. Annette,for creating such a thought-provoking post.