A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12—16)
“Take heed to yourself and to your teaching: for you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Beloved: Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Take heed to yourself and to your teaching: hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 111:7—8.9.10 (R. 2a)
R. Great are the works of the Lord.
His handiwork is justice and truth;
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm forever and ever,
wrought in uprightness and truth. R.
He has sent redemption to his people,
and established his covenant forever.
Holy his name, to be feared. R.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
understanding marks all who attain it.
His praise endures forever! R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11:28
Alleluia. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 7:36-50)
“Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.”
At that time: One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learnt that he was sitting at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon; I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning towards the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
In today’s Gospel, we have two opposing attitudes to reflect on: one is that of Simon the Pharisee and the other, that of Jesus. The Pharisee’s attitude is one of excluding sinners. A man of God must have nothing to do with public sinners, such as this woman forgiven by Jesus. Contrasting with this is Jesus’ attitude of acceptance and understanding. He follows the maxim, ‘Hate the sin but love the sinner.’ Jesus also sees the woman’s ability to love must as a sign of the forgiveness she has received. Her weeping, wiping and anointing the feet of Jesus is a sign of her great love, resulting in her total repentance. The Lord welcomes us and forgive us no matter how enormous our sinfulness.