Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Sinful Woman

One of my first pastors would use a phrase (which used to drive me crazy) in regards to sin, and admitting guilt, which had a tinge of 1960s psycho-therapy to it.  In any conversation, if he wanted the individual to admit responsibility he would chime, "name it and claim it."  While an irritating phrase there is some truth to that.  Healing, and especially forgiveness begins to occur when we are honest with ourselves.  If we understand that we are broken, fragile clay vessels if you will, then we will all the more realize our need to healing and forgiveness; and be more willing to forgive.

Even more so when we begin to realize that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and the Lamb who takes away our sins, we enter into the Paschal Mystery and a deeper level of love and passion with our God.  I recall many years ago receiving a call from a young lady, on a Saturday afternoon, who wanted to go to confession prior to her evening activities.  She explained that what she had planned was sinful, and wanted forgiveness before the fact.  Knowing that we are saved does not allow us a 'pass' on living a good moral life.  All the more so realizing that God loves us, and that Jesus suffered and died for us, should lead us to a life of conversion and discipleship.

The Pharisee today sees sins in others.  In matter of fact he does not refer to the woman in our story today by a name, but simply as a 'sinful woman.'  Perhaps he has never struggled with sin and the need of conversion.  To be sure his self righteous attitude would lead one to wonder whether he is aware of sin in his life.  If you have ever been around a bunch of recovering alcoholics you know that they are bluntly honest about their own brokenness, and are more than ready to un-mask their friends who try to mask their own plight.  Being able to name the affliction comes from a grateful heart that knows a God who is quick to offer love and mercy.

The woman in the Gospel today understands the revelation of the Christ.  She knows her sins and from a heart that has experienced the love of God, seeks to rectify her situation.  Receiving forgiveness she embraces the feet of the one who loves her in new life.  When we are courageous enough to name and claim our sin, and know a Father who loves us, our response will be an outpouring of thanksgiving of the one who is at the table with us.

No comments:

Post a Comment