|Cross 23, 2011, jfd+|
The name variations in the Gospels, at times, does not seem vast. There are lots of Johns and James' and Judas' and Marys where it is hard to keep them all sorted out. We have a different Simon today from our usual Simon Peter. We have Simon the Pharisee inviting Jesus to his home to eat. Jesus perceives his critical thoughts about the "sinner" washing his feet with tears and using her hair as a towel to dry them. And Jesus teaches about faith and healing and forgiveness.
No one invited this woman, whose wanton sinfulness is not explained, but is obvious to the characters in this account. She came herself, attending to, loving Jesus, although she was acting in what would have been considered a scandalous and inappropriate manner. Simon the Pharisee, seemingly being appropriate, is proven otherwise by Jesus. Who's in? Who's out? How are we supposed to act?
There are times in our lives when our actions can come from a place deep within us - calling us to do something, say something, go somewhere that is unexpected. This woman attending to Jesus had a faith she may not have even known existed within her, but was brought up and out of her by her instantaneous decision to go and do something for Jesus. "Your faith has saved you, go in peace," Jesus says to her at the end.
Where is our faith taking us today? From what do we need to seek forgiveness? Healing? Jesus invites us to open ourselves to him, allowing our faith to save and heal and protect us...allowing us to go on in peace. Are we ready for that?
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.