Obviously in the Gospel lesson, it's a very clear example of how Jesus reaches out to the sinner. Simon, so sure of himself, so righteous, "How can this man not know this is a public sinner and let her touch him, come close to him? What kind of a prophet is that? But then Jesus reminds Simon that in his righteousness he wasn't even hospitable, carrying out the ordinary responsibilities of a host to a guest.
But the woman had done it for Jesus.
She had done it because she was pouring forth her love on Jesus who had forgiven her sins. She had been forgiven much; she loved much. That's the lesson Jesus draws -- the one who is forgiven much will love much. As we reflect on these readings, I hope we really begin to understand what Pope Francis is trying to do within our church -- to change it from a church that is judgmental, sometimes harsh, sometimes condemnatory, into a church that is like God -- always merciful, always welcoming, always drawing people in by being like a field hospital -- taking the wounded, the crestfallen, the suffering, and making them a part of our community, drawing together a community of love and forgiveness.
We forgive one another. That's where it starts -- in our homes.
We forgive our friends. We forgive those in our neighborhood. We forgive those in our community. We try always to reach out in forgiveness, reconciliation.
Reflection God’s Mercy is Infinite - Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy
As we do that we are imitating God who is mercy, who is love, who is forgiveness. If each of us could humbly and deeply, in a profound sort of way, come to understand what God has done for us because immediately as we stand before God as a sinner, God forgives us. If we can understand that, accept that love of God poured forth upon us, it would change us like it changed that woman, like it changed Paul, and enable us to be people who reach out in love to one another. That's the kind of church that Francis is trying to promote in our world so that we become a community sharing that gift of God's love with one another.
But letting it go beyond our community into our world where we become the very agent of God to bring God's love and goodness, ultimately God's peace into our world where there is so much lack of love, so much hatred, so much violence. It starts with our first understanding and our standing before God saying, "I am a sinner," receiving God's forgiveness, then responding with love and carrying that love wherever we go.
That's what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. That's the kind of church we're called to be. I pray that each of us will continue to try to deeply understand how God is always a God of mercy, forgiveness, and love, and imitate that God in our everyday life.
How Are We to Respond to God's Mercy?
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Manage Your Household Well
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