This Week’s Vincentian Reflection
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
June 16, 2013
Gospel: (Luke 7:36-8:3)
A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him. There was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, and she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you…Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more? Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” Jesus said, “You have judged rightly.”
Most of us are more like Simon than like the woman. It’s far easier to see what is wrong in another than it is to see what is wrong in ourselves. One way that we might more easily come to acknowledge our own debt is to recall all the good God has done for us. Perhaps one way to live this Gospel would be to sit down and make a list of all the good God has given you. And then take some time to utter a prayer of loving thanks to this God who is so merciful and gracious to you. (Living Liturgy, p.154)
When reflecting on this incident in life of Our Lord, I have often thought that Simon was probably a smug and self-sufficient man. For that reason he had little time for the poor woman who came to show her respect and reverence for Our Lord. Self-sufficiency and smugness, or pride, fill our hearts in such a way that we have no room for Christ or his poor. Perhaps that accounts for the importance which St.Vincent gave to the virtue of humility. Humility has a way of emptying our hearts of ourselves and of exaggerated ideas about our own worth. If we are to love Our Lord, if we are to make room in our hearts and in our minds for him, we must ask for the grace of humility. If we are to make room for the poor, if they are to feel at home with us, as the poor woman did with Christ, then we must first ask for the grace of humility. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 248)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
In what ways do you know that the poor “feel at home” with you?
Jesus, Evangelizer of the Poor, you call us to be your disciples, -may we be your true servants.
Jesus, show us how to make the poor feel at home with us,
-give us eyes to see you in the broken and the poor.
Jesus, give us the spirit of humility,
-make us true followers of Vincent and Frederic. Amen