“…Then turning toward the woman he (Jesus) said to Simon (the Pharisee), ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’” (Lk 7: 44-47)

This sinful woman “loved much,” says the Lord. But who is it that this woman “loved much”? It is interesting to me that our Lord does not specify. It is clear from her actions that she loved our Lord “much.” But He says about her, generally, that she “loved much.” Because, I suspect, she generally “loved much,” and gave of herself wholeheartedly, often irrationally, to others. She did this in love, – with all that love entails, like forgiving other sinners, perhaps her many lovers, who may have “trespassed against” her all the time, in her sinful life. This “loving much,” as awkward as it was in the life of this woman, does not go unnoticed by the One Who knows our hearts. He gives her a break and says to her, “Your sins are forgiven,” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Lk 7: 48, 50)

This passage is a great consolation for those of us who have “loved much,” even “too” much, and perhaps irrationally, making spectacles of ourselves, in love, as does this woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee. We can and do turn to the Lord of our hearts, with our tears, and are forgiven, even before we can forgive ourselves. “O Lord, I have cried unto You. Hear me!” (Ps 140/141: 1)

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