To the ends of the earth

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. After he entered the Pharisee’s home, he took his place at the table. Meanwhile, a woman from the city, a sinner, discovered that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought perfumed oil in a vase made of alabaster. Standing behind him at his feet and crying, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured the oil on them. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner.

Jesus replied, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

“Teacher, speak,” he said.

“A certain lender had two debtors. One owed enough money to pay five hundred people for a day’s work. The other owed enough money for fifty. When they couldn’t pay, the lender forgave the debts of them both. Which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the largest debt canceled.”

Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.”

Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet. This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other table guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this person that even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:36-50 (CEB)

“There are some things that only God can do. We look at the rise of violence around the globe or the rising tide of population and hunger and know that some of these problems are so deep-seated that without God’s help they will not be resolved. Then we look into our own hearts and know that sin- our failure to do what we want to do and our doing what we know we do not want to do- can only be remedied with God’s help. We are not the first to discover these truths.

When Jesus had dinner at Simon’s house, a woman identified as a known sinner came and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, drying his feet with her hair. The rest of the dinner crowd was astonished and outraged. Why did this righteous man not recognize who this woman was? And if he did recognize who she was, why did he not rebuke her? Jesus then pointed out that her love was greater and demonstrated love more beautifully than that of the host. Jesus then declared in the hearing of all that the woman was forgiven. She was cleansed and sent on her way with Jesus’ blessing.

The dinner guests were still astounded. They knew that only God could forgive sins, and they were not yet able to believe that this carpenter’s son was also son of God. Jesus said that the woman was saved by her faith, but the rest of the guests missed out on the divine gift of forgiveness and the blessing of peace Jesus was offering.

The good news Christians tell one another and the world is that only God can wipe away the failures, errors, and missed opportunities that sometimes plague us. We cannot wipe away or forgive our sins or those of another. But God can, and therein lies our hope, joy, and peace- a message we proclaim to all.” ~A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Reuben P. Job

Thank you Almighty God for wiping away my failures, mistakes and missed opportunities. Help me to live this day to the fullest. Help me to spread Your good news to others. Amen.

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