How did she get in?!? – Sunday’s reading reflection


A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.

Let’s get Ignatian for a moment.  Pick a person and put yourself in the place.  Jesus goes to Simon’s house and reclines at table.  A sinful woman comes to visit him.  She stands behind him weeping at his feet.  There must be a translation issue there.  Standing, behind him, at his feet?  Maybe he was on a raised platform?  Possibly.  And so the Gospel story continues.  

One question.  How does this sinful woman gain access to Simon’s house while Jesus is there?  And what a scene it must have been!  Try having a quiet dinner at your home with your priest and at the same time watch as a sinful woman makes her way into your house and your dining room, sobs behind him and then moves around front and begins to wash his feet with her tears.  What is going on?!?

Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Love.

It’s not exactly the same in the first reading, but close.  King David, the anointed one, commits the following sins:

stealing (wife)-check

He repents.  

“I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan answered David:

“The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.”

Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Love.

Priests and parishioners alike, we get busy about doing the works of the law just like Simon the Pharisee.  And because we earthen vessels are busy bees in our bubble doing the works of the law, eventually we begin to judge, withhold mercy, withhold forgiveness, and fail to love.  

What does St. Paul say though?  “We who know that a person is not justified by works of the law…”  The sinful woman wasn’t justified because she was doing works of the law.  In fact, it was the opposite.  She wasn’t doing works of the law.  But, she was justified for her faith in Christ and the love and service she offered him purely out of gratitude and repentance.  

Not a bad thing to remember this Father’s Day, Fathers & fathers.

I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your unending mercy, forgiveness and love.


Happy Father’s Day to all our Fathers & fathers! – Tekton Ministries