Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 16, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 7:36-50

A certain 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. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?”

58a02d50b556bb5d7328c10bd2c32af1_w600Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: In the ancient world, it was an ordinary courtesy to offer to wash the feet of a guest whom you had invited to table. For a host to withhold this courtesy dishonored his guest. Jesus tells us that Simon the Pharisee had not washed his feet when he had arrived, so because feet washing was so commonplace, it fairly likely was not a case of Simon forgetting. Simon, as a Pharisee, looked forward to the coming of the messiah, but when the messiah was in his home, he did not extend to him the most basic courtesy. The Letter to the Hebrews admonishes us that we do well not to forget to show hospitality to strangers, because some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it. Jesus in this passage notes that the one who loves much is the one who extends hospitality, and the gospels tell us elsewhere that what we do for the least one we do for Jesus. It is love then that opens our eyes to see God’s anointed one even when he does not appear to us as we have expected.

Spiritual reading: In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve. (Brennan Manning)


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