She Has Shown Great Love

Jesus absolves the penitent sinner - Luke 7:36-50

How many tears would need to be shed in order to have enough to wash feet? A bucketful! What would precipitate such an overflowing amount of tears? Extraordinary loss, sadness, sorrow. In the case of the “sinful woman” in this Sunday’s gospel, her tears were precipitated by her great sense of unworthiness and her profound repentance. All the woman’s gestures toward Jesus were very personal: weeping, wiping his feet with her hair, kissing his feet. Her gestures of touching him were ones of connectedness, of closing the distance between alienation and communion, of desiring a new relationship with someone who heals.

Think about it…Lavish love…Big love…Extravagant love…Love fueled by the flames of an authentic and humble faith…Love emptied out for the sake of the beloved. What does it take for us today to know, to experience, and to practice such big love? How can we be equipped and moved to pour ourselves out for the sake of the gospel, for Jesus who loves us with a love bigger than life itself? Can we feel and experience the forgiveness, the mercy, and the acceptance that fuels such big love? [Living Liturgy 2013]

If we are wrapped up in our own needs, it is impossible to see the needs of others. One way to live this gospel is to practice every day reaching out to another with a simple gesture of kindness or hospitality. This can be so simple as saying hello to someone we pass in a hallway, smiling at someone who seems depressed, or lending a helping hand to someone who seems burdened. What happens in our reaching out to others is that distances in relationships are closed, we discover in others unforeseen goodness and worth, and both they and we are transformed by this self-giving way of relating.