St. Timothy must have been a fairly young man. Perhaps he was taking some heat for his lack of years. St. Paul exhorts him in today’s first reading from 1 Timothy 4. “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love faith and purity.” Pretty sound advice for those of us of any age, wouldn’t you say?
In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 7, we see Jesus being invited to dine at the home of a Pharisee. A sinful woman finds out and goes there, weeping and bathing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair and anointing them with oil. Scandalous! So Jesus tells a story about two people who are forgiven debts, one of them very large, the other small. He asks, “Which of them will love him more?” Of course, it is the one with the larger debt. So Jesus says of the sinful woman, “Her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
Great sinners make great Christians. Have you ever noticed that folks who used to be great sinners tend to be the most humble, empathetic and forgiving Christians. They realize that they have been forgiven much, therefore they love much. When we don't think we have much or anything to be forgiven of, that's when we're in deep trouble.
Father, you know that we are great sinners. The trouble is, often we don’t know we’re great sinners. Help us to realize that we have been forgiven much; thus, we should love much. Amen.
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