A Reading for today
Thursday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time
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 days' 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; hence, 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."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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A sinful woman came in (cf. Lk 7:37)
Saint Gertrude of Helfta (1256-1301), Benedictine nun
The Herald of Divine Love, Book III, ch. 30; SC 143 (Trans. Margaret Winkworth., Mahwah (NJ): Paulist press, 1992), pp. 196, 198
Gertrude understood that whenever a man commends himself to God, praying that he will keep him from sin, then, even if it seems to that man, by the hidden designs of God, that he has fallen into some grave sin, yet he will never sin in such a way that he lacks the grace of God, which will support him like a staff and lead him easily to repentance ( .… )
She presented herself to the Lord.… imploring him to give her his blessing. After this was done, the Lord himself in his turn seemed to be asking her for a blessing. Then she understood that a man is blessing God when he says in his heart that he repents of having offended his creator and implores his help to prevent him from falling again into sin. At this blessing the Lord of heaven bowed low, showing her that this was as acceptable to him as though that blessing had been responsible for all his beatitude. ( … )
One day she was having difficulty with a certain task, and she said to God the Father: "Lord, I offer you this work through your only Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to your eternal praise." She knew the power of these words to be such that in a marvelous way thev elevate any work done with that intention far beyond human estimation, so that whatever is offered is made pleasing to God the Father. Just as that which is seen through a green glass appears to be green, or red, if seen through a red glass, and so on, whatever is offered to God the Father through his only-begotten Son becomes most pleasing and acceptable to him.