Today's Gospel: Luke 7, 36 - 8,3 - Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
I can imagine the thoughts the pharisee was having as the woman washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. "How can He stand to have her touch Him? If He was really holy, he wouldn't have anything to do with her!"
Unfortunately, the reason I know what he's thinking is because I have that same tendency to judge others. I know I shouldn't be doing this. Not that long ago, I was the woman coming to Jesus and begging for forgiveness. Even though my own sins weigh heavily on me at times, far too often I look down on someone else because of what I perceive his sins to be. But God has forgiven me, just as he forgave the woman who washed His feet with her tears. (And imagine how hard she must have cried over her sins to do this!)
When Jesus forgave the woman, He commanded her to go and sin no more. With that kind of forgiveness (which we all receive in Confession), we should be so joyful that we haven't got time to judge others! We should all reach out with love and compassion to people who struggle with living a good Christian life — especially since we all struggle in one way or another.
Our gratitude to God for His love should be reflected not only in the way we treat others, but how we perceive them, too. When Jesus looked at the woman, he didn't sin her sin. He saw her for who she was deep inside: a lost and hurt little girl who needed love and forgiveness. He looked past her sins and saw her contrition, and because He saw that, He forgave her. We, too, should look deeper and see people as God's own children.
Do you see others in the light Jesus sees them? Do you love others as God loves them? Today, reach out to someone you have a hard time loving and treat them with extra care and compassion.
Jesus, You love each and every one of us as if we are the only person to love, and You see us for who we are deep inside. Teach me how to love others as You love them, and to see them as Your children: cherished and beloved.
Copyright 2016 Christine Johnson
Christine is a wife and homeschooling mother of two high school daughters. She and her family live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and they love to travel together. She's a Lay Dominican, blogs at Domestic Vocation, is a regular contributor at CatholicMom.com, and is active on Twitter (@CatholicMomVA).