(Monday, October 9)

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil…” (Lk 7:36-38)

Today’s Gospel-reading reminds us that we don’t become incapable of loving God, or of touching God, even when we are sinners and don’t know what to say. We can approach Him and offer what we have to offer. The “sinner” in this story offers something that I imagine a beautiful woman of some means may have used for herself in her skin-care routine, a fragrant oil. She also offers her tears, and her hair. She does a beautiful thing for Him, from the beauty she has to offer.

Now when the Pharisee who was hosting Jesus saw this, he didn’t like it. He judged both the “sinner” and the Lord, thinking to himself: “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” What the Pharisee does not do is offer the Lord the kind of hospitality that would have been appropriate for an honored guest, as Christ points out to him: “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head… Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

So, let those of us who are sinners take heart, and not stay away from God, even if we’re not invited to the table of the “righteous.” Let us dare to “love much,” even when our sins “are many.” And whatever it is that we are given to be or to do, whether we are artists, bankers, homemakers, cashiers, hairdressers, dancers, singers, fashion-designers, writers, models, nurses, teachers, secretaries, bloggers, IT-experts, business-owners or managers or whatever, let us not dismiss the bit of beauty we bring into this world, along with the tears and trials we go through as we do our thing, as if it does not matter to God. This Monday let us offer ourselves, our love, our tears and our beauty, to Christ our God.