Ss Cornelius and Cyprian
1 Timothy 4: 12-16. How great are the works of the Lord! – Psalm 110 (111): 7-10. Luke 7: 36-50.
Your many sins are forgiven
The Pharisees in today’s gospel are trapped in a misogynist mindset that limits the humanity of the “sinful woman” to her alleged sexual history. The Pharisees make this woman invisible and dismiss her as the “kind of woman” one cannot be in company with. Jesus says something radically that contradicts the social prejudices of the time. He meets the woman as she is and does not see sin, but love. He is touched by her lavish act, which wets his feet with her own tears born of the pain she suffers. She dries them with her hair and gives his feet what is a coveted attribute of female beauty. Finally she pours expensive perfume over her from her alabaster glass. This lavish and physical gesture shows regret for her past, but beyond that, it is an example of pure love brave enough not to get trapped in that past. In a society today that still submits women as mere sexual objects, the story of Jesus and the woman who anoints him still calls for us to go beyond this narrowness and reduction.
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