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.”
Ever notice how people who were once the greatest of sinners become the best of Christians? They seem to have more empathy, more love, more forgiveness. Why? Because they have been there. They know what it is like to be forgiven of much. Then there are those who think that they don’t have all that much to be forgiven of. Hey! I’ve never murdered anyone! I’m not that bad!! Our love will be proportionate to the amount that we feel we need forgiveness.
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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