by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich
After a Sunday Mass one weekend, a parishioner came up to me and said, “Boy, if Father knew what kind of person so-and-so is, he wouldn’t give her Communion." Sound familiar?
A woman comes to Jesus in our Gospel today – so full of repentance that her tears flow enough to wash His feet. A woman – a known sinner – performs an act of kindness that the others neglected to do. “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.’” (Luke 7:39) Jesus probably DID know who she was. That did not stop Him from seeing her as a child of God and offering her the gift of forgiveness.
Forgiveness – a most precious gift offered to all of us by our loving, generous God. It is a precious gift we can offer to others as well. Imagine the joy of that woman – a burden lifted from her. Imagine what forgiveness does for each of us! As we continue this Jubilee Year of Mercy may we be forgiving to others and find the grace to see each person as a child of God.
Thank you, Lynne Marie, for this challenging and comforting reflection - sometimes we are the forgiver and with God and others, also the forgiven.
Jesus did indeed know who the woman was. Thank you for your thoughtful words, Sister.
Thanks, Lynne Marie, for sharing your experience. That's all of us -- before our own conversion.