11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 16, 2013)

This week’s Readings

Last Sunday, God’s love touched two poor widows who had lost their sons. “Poor” is the operative word: without a male family member to care for them, those women had no resources whatsoever.

This weekend, our Readings go to the opposite end of the spectrum: God reaches out to a pair of rich, powerful men. In the First Reading, the prophet Nathan nails David for having Uriah killed so that David could take Uriah’s wife as his own. Nathan reminds David of all God has done for him, and basically asks: “Why did you do this?” David repents … God forgives him … but he doesn’t get off scott-free: the first child born to David and Bathsheba dies.

In the Gospel, Jesus goes to a rich Pharisee’s house for dinner. The latter deliberately insults Jesus by omitting the customary welcoming rituals. Then the Pharisee sees a “loose woman” crashing his dinner party to anoint and bathe Jesus’ feet, and proceeds to insult Jesus’ intelligence by thinking that Jesus should “see what kind of woman this is.” Jesus hammers the Pharisee, and proceeds to hold up the woman as a model of one whose love is so great that her many sins are forgiven. I doubt the Pharisee changed his ways of being judgmental and negative … that kind of person usually doesn’t, so convinced are they that they are always right and the other is wrong.

So what’s the lesson for us? If you or I are caught out doing wrong by word or deed, and someone says something critical, what’s our reaction? Is it like David’s: an honest admission that we have indeed done wrong and then asking for forgiveness? Or is it like the Pharisee: defensive, convinced that the other person is wrong, secure in our own arrogance?

“Her many sins are forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

Love deeply, my friend!

herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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