Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
June 17, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11
Galatians 2:16, 19-21
Luke 7:36—8:3 or 7:36-50
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The long procession of great "Easter" feasts is ended, and we begin "Ordinary" time with somewhat of a jolt!
We start the countdown to the very end of the church year with the Eleventh Sunday through the Thirty-fourth! If you don't understand, just resign yourselves. It all makes sense to liturgists!
The common theme of God's unbelievable mercy ties together the first reading about King David's plea for forgiveness and the Gospel which is all about the uninvited woman who bursts into the Pharisee''s house to anoint the feet of Jesus!
David, the best king in all of Israel's history, had nevertheless given in to lustful desires. His desire for Bathsheba was so uncontrolled that he deliberately had her husband murdered, then took this attractive woman for his own pleasure. When the prophet, Nathan, very bravely confronts David about this sin, the King breaks down and begs forgiveness of God.
Considering all the great favors God had bestowed on David—protecting him from Saul, providing divine assistance against David's enemies, giving him a glorious kingdom, the king had already seriously offended God by his ingratitude. Add to this his serious sins of murder and adultery, and we are amazed that the Lord still loves David, and forgives him!
The Gospel concerns Jesus at a banquet in the house of Simon, the Pharisee. A woman comes into the banquet room uninvited, and shocks the whole gathering by her actions. Bursting into tears, she falls at Jesus' feet. She breaks every social rule by letting down her hair, touching this man, and even kissing his feet. Then, she pours soothing oil over those feet.
Jesus not only does not prevent her from doing this, but even explains to Simon that her great faith has merited God's forgiveness for her sins. Then, Jesus concludes with a very human touch. Jesus points out to Simon that his neglect of providing water and oil for his guests as they arrived, has been more than made up for by the behavior of this woman (whom Simon obviously despises).
Where does the second reading from Galatians fit in? St. Paul's words declare that it is faith that merits God's forgiveness.
Without faith, David would never have asked for God's forgiveness. Neither would the penitent woman of this Gospel, whose great faith and love so pleases Jesus. Faith in the great mercy of God should also prompt us to abandon our pride and obstinacy, and humbly ask God to forgive us our offenses.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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