Monday, September 21, 2015

The Woman Of Ill Repute

The Woman Of Ill Repute (Luke 7:36)
Simon, a devout Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner, only to have it crashed by a woman with a bad reputation.  She enters, throws herself to the feet of Jesus, sobbing uncontrollably, bathing His dirty feet with her tears, and drying them with her hair.  Then, while covering them with kisses, she anoints them with perfume.  

Incredulously, Jesus is not looking at the woman.  His attention is on the hidden thoughts of Simon, who is in far greater need of a doctor.  For the woman, as Jesus soon points out, was demonstrating profuse love, springing from a grateful heart emboldened by faith, by a certainty, that her many sins would be forgiven at the feet of Jesus.  
          And so Jesus, not taking His eyes off Simon, gently exposes Simon’s shallow love.  As love is the fruit of faith, Jesus reveals Simon’s Achilles heel -that he does not believe in the Mercy Of God.  Fearing an Unforgiving God, Simon is blinded to his own sinfulness; he can only see the sins of others.
Undeterred by blindness, Jesus releases Simon into the freedom of Truth -that only those who have been forgiven much can love much.

Later, Jesus sets another Simon free.  Again, with his Heart Piercing questions, he asks, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others? ...Do you love me? ...Do you love me?”  Simon Peter, looking into the Face of Love, did not just see the eyes of Jesus.  Like a rushing train disappearing into a tunnel, he was drawn into the Eternal Presence, the very Heart Of Mercy.  There, his cry was absorbed into Unity, as he professed, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you!”
Peter proclaimed with absolute certainty, with a redeemed faith, that He loved his Master more than the others, because he, who three times denied his Savior and Friend, had been forgiven most.
        Lost In His Wounds
Oh, my contrite Soul,
How is it I am free to bring my Sins to our Savior?
What grace Abounds!
What power the Cross!
Come, let us find Release!
         Let us Run into his Outstretched Arms.
                  Let us Fragrant him with our Tears and Kisses,
                         For my many Sins are Lost in His Wounds!