Thursday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time          

            Today’s gospel story tells us of a sinful woman, who was probably a prostitute. The most important point of this gospel story is this: Awareness of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness leads this sinful woman to her extravagant display of affection and gratitude to Jesus. Hinugasan niya ang mga paa ni Hesus sa pamamagitan ng kanyang luha, at pinatuyo ito sa pamamagitan ng kanyang buhok. Pinahiran niya ito ng mamahaling pabango at hinagkan. Such an outpouring of reverence showed how deeply this woman must have loved Jesus.

            It must be emphasized that her love was a result of her having received mercy and love from God first, not as a result of her actions. The woman comes to Jesus firmly convinced that she has already been forgiven by God. She has been loved much and forgiven much, so she loves much in return.

            This reminds us of one basic truth: God has loved us first; and out of love, God has forgiven us. God’s love for us is much greater than all our sins. Do we have faith in this basic truth? Napanghahawakan ba natin ang batayang katotohanan na dahil sa dakilang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa atin ay napatawad at pinatatawad tayo sa ating pagkakasala? Gaano kalalim ang pagkakaranas at pagkakadama natin sa pag-ibig at pagpapatawad ng Diyos sa atin? Are we able to show a deep sense of gratitude that God has loved us first and has forgiven us? How?

            Jesus says, “The one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Truth is, unless we love God, we have little awareness of our sins. The wicked do not see their sins. They are too full of mischief to even know they are sinning. But with great love, Jesus says, “her many sins are forgiven.”

            Ito ang malinaw na mensahe sa atin ng Panginoon ngayon: Dahil sa dakilang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa atin, pinatatawad niya tayo sa ating mga kasalanan. The kingdom of God does not consist of people who have never sinned, but of people who have sinned and been forgiven; of people who failed, even grievously, yet found peace. So we do not have to pretend to be perfect as Simon the Pharisee did. All we have to do is place ourselves at the feet of Jesus, as the penitent woman did, and experience the pardon and peace of his unconditional love.

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