Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: .
Estimated Reading Time:


According to Luke’s account, a Pharisee named Simon is very interested to invite Jesus to dine with him. He probably wants to use a meal as an opportunity to debate some questions with that Galilean who is gaining among the people the fame of a prophet.

Something Simon has not foreseen happens during the meal.  A local prostitute interrupts those remaining at the table after the meal.  She throws herself at Jesus’ feet and starts to cry. She does not know how to thank him for the love that he shows toward people like her who carry for the rest of their lives the mark of general scorn. To everyone’s surprise, she keeps kissing Jesus’ feet and she anoints them with expensive perfume.

Simon watches horrified what is going on. He sees, right in his own house, a sinful woman touching Jesus! He cannot bear it.  His guest is a clueless individual, not a prophet of God. He must quickly separate the unclean woman from Jesus.

Jesus, however, allows the woman to touch and love him.  She, more than anyone else, needs him. He offers her forgiveness with special tenderness.  He then invites her to discover within her heart a humble faith that is saving her. Jesus only wants her to live in peace: Your sins are forgiven …. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.

The Gospels highlights Jesus’ welcome and understanding of the sectors that are most excluded by almost everyone from God’s blessing, namely, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lepers… His message is shocking: those whom the most religious people despise have a privileged place in God’s heart. The reason for this is simple: they are the ones who are most in need of welcome, dignity and love.

Someday we will have to examine, in light of this conduct of Jesus, the attitude we have in our Christian communities towards certain groups. Among these are the women who make a living as prostitutes as well as the homosexuals and lesbians whose problems, sufferings and struggles we prefer to ignore, most of the time, and silence within the Church as if, for us, they do not exist.

The questions we could ask ourselves are not few:

  • Where can they find among us a welcome that is similar to Jesus’ welcome?
  • To whom can they go in order to listen to a word that will speak to them of God just as Jesus’ word did?
  • What help can they find among us so that they can live responsibly and with faith according to their sexual condition?
  • With whom can they share their faith in Jesus with peace and dignity?
  • Who is capable of sensing God’s unfathomable love for those forgotten by every religion?

June 12, 2016
11 Sunday O.T. (C)
Luke 7, 36 – 8, 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *