Are we the Woman or the Pharisee ?

A beatuful day to you all !

Todays reading from Luke ( Luke 7:36) takes us to an interesting paradox.  between Jesus, a Pharisee, and a reputed prostitute.   Lets see if you can find where it is that we all fit in  !

First, Jesus is found invited to dine with a Pharisee.  The Pharisees who lived the letter of the law.   Sometimes we too live strictly the letter of law… maybe sometimes not so much.

They finish dining, and  recline at table.  Maybe like some after their Thanksgiving meal afte the big dinner, there is for most the reclining and loosening of the belt..  For others though, it is a time to work, as there are dishes to be done and the table to clear and dessert to prepare ( not that you could make room right now anyway)…   Especially after all that work to get it all prepared.. unless of course you did not do that either.

Then, enter the Lady !  She is annointing the feet of Jesus, crying and washing his feet with her tears, in sorrow for her many sins, kissing his feet in love.   Are we not also the sinner, who cries for our sins at the feet of Christ ?   Are we not also the one who begs of Christ to forgive us our sins, and ask his blessing upon us ?     Do we not cry from the pains of our lives and ask Christ to heal us ?

Then there is the Pharisee.  Jesus gives him the parable of the man who forgives s2 men of the debts in order to show that the woman who was washing his feet showed great love because she was forgiven more.    But he did this because  the Pharisee was saying that if he knew what kind of woman she was,  he wouldnt allow her to touch him.

In our society we tend to look down on the poor and the homeless.  Sometimes it is difficult to fight between your desires to help and your desire not to interact.  You dont know if the beggar on the street is really homeless, or really hungry, or if they just want money for drugs, or alcohol.     After all there are agencies for this sort of thing right ?  We don’t really have to get near them do we ?   Besides, they are in rags, and they smell badly don’t they ?

The prisons are full of people who made bad choices.   Are they bad or were their behaviors bad.   My older brother used to be a Prison Guard at a maximum security section of the state prison.   They used to say all the Choir boys lived in prison.    This is due to the fact that the way the system works, is you get time off for good behavior.  This means being exemplary and showing remorse for your crime.  Prisoners who are repeat offenders know this, and so they will just fall into this “role” when they enter the system.   But are we different ?  Don’t we play different roles for different people or different situations  in order to make them work for us ?   Are we different at work than at home talking to our children ?

Are we like the Pharisee who judges our brothers and sisters for the mistakes they have made ?    Do we condemn and think about how it is that someone could associate with people who are prisoners, or poor or homeless ?

Lastly there is Jesus, who forgives, the woman who has sinned against him,   Jesus, the teacher who enlightens us to mistakes we have made gently so that he corrects us but we know he loves us .

So which one are we ?   I believe that if we look deep into our hearts we find that we are in fact a little of all three !


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