Friday, September 21, 2012

Rejoicing in God's Forgiving Grace

Dear Theophilus,

Lately I’ve been trying to read the Church’s proscribed readings of the day before the hectic whirlwind of the school day begins. Long before the students arrive, I sit quietly at my desk and read from the Entrance Antiphon through the Gospel. Meditating on the readings, I’m amazed at how everyday something jumps out at me as important to my life.

Yesterday (September 20th) it was Luke’s Gospel (Lk 7:36-50) that caught my attention. It’s a story that most Catholics know well – that of the woman sinner who, while Jesus was dining at the home of a Pharisee, bathed Christ’s feet with her tears and then dried them with her hair before anointing them with costly ointment. What really stood out for me was not what the woman was doing, but rather Christ’s response to the Pharisee who questioned Christ on allowing himself to be touched by a sinner:

A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. (Lk 7:41-42, 47)

Immediately I felt the burning need in my heart to go to confession.

I am a sinner. I know I am a sinner. I also know that my sins offend the Lord greatly.

I liken confession to taking a shower after a long hard day of working in the garden. Watching the dirt wash away and the clean feeling afterwards soothes in a way that is beyond words. So is confession for my soul.

Over the years the Lord has shown me great forgiveness. In turn, I must show Him great love.

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