Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 19, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota - Vice Rector, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass at the EDSA Shrine

Reading 1 1 Tm 4:12-16

Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate. Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save  both yourself and those who listen to you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:7-8, 9, 10

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

Gospel Lk 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?” Simon 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.”


Is there forgiveness because of love, or is there love because of forgiveness?

It is very clear in this Gospel message, that forgiveness is not earned. Forgiveness is freely given by God, to those who acknowledge their sinfulness. When the woman entered the house of the Pharisee, it was not to ask for forgiveness, but to show her great love for Jesus, who forgave her her sins. That's why Jesus recounted His parable to Simon and the rest who were present in the gathering, and He said that the one whom more is forgiven, loves more, but the one whom little is forgiven, will only show little love.

Sometimes, we accuse people of being sinful, and we would rather not acknowledge or accept our own weakness, our own faults, our own failures, our own sinfulness. But here in today's Gospel, it is very clear that when we have been forgiven of the many sins that we have committed and the things that we have failed to do, then we have to show love all the more. And Jesus is very right - forgiveness is not earned; it is freely given by God.

How many times have we shown love to our brothers and sisters? For us who are not able to love more, perhaps we could think. Maybe we have not acknowledged or accepted our own sinfulness. And this is what will give us true joy. There will be joy if there will be great forgiveness of our sins. Amen.