Thursday 16 September 2021

About Today Readings

Ss Cornelius and Cyprian

1 Timothy 4:12-16. How great are the works of the Lord! – Psalm 110(111):7-10. Luke 7:36-50.

Her many sins have been forgiven

The Pharisees in today’s Gospel are trapped in a misogynistic mindset, limiting the humanity of the ‘sinful woman’ to her presumed sexual history. The Pharisees render this woman invisible and cast her out as the ‘kind of woman’ unfit to keep company with. Jesus, radically, states something that flies in the face of the societal prejudices of the time. He meets the woman as she is and sees not sin but love. He is moved by her lavish act, wetting his feet with her own tears, born of the pain she is suffering. She dries them with her hair, giving over to his feet what is a coveted feature of feminine beauty. She finally pours expensive perfume from her alabaster jar upon them. This lavish and physical gesture shows regret for her past, but more than this it provides an example of a pure love that is bold enough to not be trapped by that past. In a society today that still subjugates women as mere sexual objects, the story of Jesus and the woman who anoints him still calls all to move beyond such narrow and reductive.

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