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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 19, 2019

Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time


1 Timothy 4:12-16,

Psalm 111:7-8, 9, 10

Luke 7:36-50

 

Gospel Reading

 

 A certain 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."

 

Reflection


Laws and Empty Shells

 

Today’s Gospel presents before us a self-righteous Pharisee generously inviting Jesus to his house for a sumptuous meal, but not without reservations and expectations. He wanted his guest to abide by certain norms and conditions. Jesus refused to fit into those frames. He allowed a sinner woman to touch him and smear him with expensive ointment. Jesus ignored the norms of clean and unclean laid by the Pharisee. It was something beyond the host’s sensitivity to bear without resentment. He had certain preconceived ideas about how a prophet should behave. According to him the moment the sinner woman approaches a prophet; he should recoil and fend her off like dirt. Alas, here is a man who pretends to be a prophet, but enjoys the caressing of a wayward woman in public. In true Socratic style Jesus confronted his host and drew out of him the answer he needed. Then he diverts the host’s attention from the women to himself. He was made to understand the generosity of the sinner woman in contrast to his stinginess. Jesus challenged him for his self-righteousness. Nothing infuriated Jesus more than the self-righteous people. He warned his followers against being judgmental towards others. However passing judgments on others is one of the most satisfying hobbies that people regularly engage in. It gives them immense satisfaction and a rare opportunity to establish their own rectitude and superiority.

 

Generosity is a sign of divinity while rigidity borderlines ignorance and self-righteousness. Love is and should be the foundation of every law. Laws are like shells that enclose and safeguard the precious life within, which is love. As it happens always in nature, at the end of their lifespan the life contained in the shell perishes leaving behind the attractive empty shell. The shores of human societies and religions are always plagued by such empty shells in which crabs of hatred and snails of fear find their habitat or dirt of fear and corruption fill in. Every shell of law should be regularly scrutinized to make sure that it is still alive with love and not occupied by crabs of hatred, snails of fear and dirt of fear and corruption.

 

Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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