We keep hearing stories in the news about violent protests, terrorists, persecution, war, the deep divisions among Americans over the presidential candidates and so forth.
Today I’d like to share Good News! In fact this is what the word gospel means (Old English gōdspel, from gōd ‘good’ + spel ‘news, a story’). In the second reading we learn that the Good News is this: “The Son of God... has loved me and given himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20)
The good news is that if we approach the Lord with repentance, true sorrow for our sins, he will speak his words of mercy and forgiveness.
In the first reading the prophet Nathan reminds King David, who has killed his friend Uriah and committed adultery, of all the favors the Lord God has shown to him. The prophet then calls out David’s sin by asking: “Why have you rejected the LORD and done evil in his sight?” (2 Sam 12:9) A pronouncement of God’s judgment against David is then given.
David confesses and comes to repentance for his grave sin. Nathan assures him “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.”(2 Sam 12:13)
In the Gospel a sinful woman enters a house where Jesus is dining with a Pharisee. She has brought a jar of expensive ointment to anoint his feet. She is moved to tears and falls to Jesus’ feet and bathes them with her tears. The Pharisee is indignant and speaks to himself "If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner."
The Lord said “her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
“Although she was a great sinner, the woman with the perfume one more praise for her act of love bandit the dinner host Simon, a Pharisee who failed to provide Christ with the basic courtesy of hospitality common at that time. The passage shows that true faith is inspired by repentance and charity. The love and faith of the woman won her forgiveness. Her love was so much the greater giving the Lord’s forgiveness of her sins.” (Didache Bible p.1368)
We must not be like Simon the Pharisee. We must not doubt that the Lord can move even the most hardened of sinners, those with grave sins like David, or those with many sins like the woman. Nor must we look down on the sinner or stand in the way of their returning to the Lord.
It is for us, the followers of Christ, to tell others the good news. To tell others that no one is beyond redemption. Then, having been forgiven our own sins, through the Sacrament of Penance, resolve to live by faith, full of gratitude and joy that our great debt has been forgiven.
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona