Our gospel reading today tells the beautiful story of Jesus' response to the sinful woman. In her love for Jesus, she disregards the usual way guests are treated at a banquet. She bathes Jesus' feet first with her tears, then with precious ointment, and wipes them with her hair. Simon, the host of the banquet, shows Jesus none of the usual courtesies when he arrives. Moreover, he condemns Jesus for associating with the woman who was a known sinner. In telling Simon a story about forgiving debts, Jesus praises the woman. She is forgiven much because of her great love. Jesus points out Simon's need for forgiveness—because of his lack of hospitality, his lack of respect for each of them, and his self-righteousness. The story is a powerful example of the relationship between forgiveness and love. During this Year of Mercy let us all act with that same compassion that Jesus always showed to others.
Pat Schifini, OSU