THE THINGS WE DO NOT KNOW

Monday, October 8, 2018

       “One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answering said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he answered, ‘What is it, Teacher?’ ‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.’ And he said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, ‘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: 36-47)

 

     Simon the Pharisee went down in history as a terrible host. He got to receive the God-Man in his house, and yet failed to offer Him the basic hospitality, customary at that time. Simon was too busy judging his Guest (“If this man were a prophet…”) to notice the blunders in his own “job-performance,” as host, or to recognize Who it was he was hosting. He entirely missed the opportunity to encounter God on this occasion, because he put so “little love” into it.

 

     Today, whatever job I am called to do for or with other people, whether professionally or socially, let me approach my vocation with a loving heart, and with mindfulness of my own responsibilities. Love opens my eyes to God’s presence and wisdom in my life and work, whereas self-centered expectations tend to blind me to His goodness and make me less effective for Him, myself, and others. “I will love you, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my foundation, my refuge, and my deliverer.” (Ps 17: 2-3a).

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