June 16, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Lk. 7:36-50

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 day’s 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.): 

“Those who are forgiven much love much.” This was one of the most powerful images of our Gospel today through understanding the action of the sinful woman and the parable told by Jesus. The woman was touched by Jesus’ teachings, which led her to throw herself at Jesus’ feet, and showed her affection and repentance. Her humility and faith pleased Jesus. And because she was forgiven much, she became forgiving and loving too.

Before I entered the seminary, I used to work overseas. And since I was working alone, I abused my freedom. For years, I was selfish and I only paid attention to the worldly needs and unnecessary leisure. I only followed what I ‘felt’ was right. Not until I found God again on one of my trips. He let me experience His presence and teachings once again through the Jesuit priests I met in Kuala Lumpur. From then on, I never lost my sight on Jesus, until I decided to come back home and discern about my vocation.

My vocation and conversion stories were similar with that of the sinful woman in a way that I was sinful before and, because of Jesus, I was forgiven much. That infinite mercy of God transformed my life and it expanded my heart in order for me to love and to forgive others. That wonderful grace I received confirmed my desire to enter the priesthood. Though, I always say that I was not worthy of that call, I would always persevere with that call because I knew I was forgiven and this chance that I received would never be wasted.

Every one of us is forgiven regardless of the measure of our sins because we are loved by God.  It is an invitation for us to be more loving and to be more forgiving of our brothers and sisters. It is our chance and let us not waste it.     As we continue to be a country of independence and a person of total  freedom, may we use this privilege so as not to contradict God’s laws for doing so, we deviate from the authentic meaning of independence and freedom. Let us turn to the blessed Mother who is always docile to God’s will, that through her intercession, we may become more open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in us. Amen. 18px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;”>and his mother kept all these things in her heart.


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