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Oct 04th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Sep 17, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (Unconditional Love)
Sep 17, 2009 - Thursday Meditation (Unconditional Love) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 12 September 2009 13:33

In our society we generally feel that the recipient of our love has to be deserving of that love and that we have to be deserving of the love which we receive.  How foreign it is to see love given with no strings attached and how difficult it can be sometimes to trust and accept God’s infinite love and forgiveness.


Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J.

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Psalm 111:7-8, 9, 10

L uke 7:36-50 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. (37) And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, (38) 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 (39). 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." (40) And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" (41) "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. (42) When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" (43) Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." (44) Then turning toward 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. (45) You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. (47) Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." (48) And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." (49) Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" (50) And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


Meditation by Susan Tinley

T oday’s gospel provides such a dramatic and beautiful picture of God’s love for us.  There are many lessons to be found in this passage.


It is easy to imagine this woman - with hair probably to her waist or longer - weeping at Jesus’ feet in sorrow for her sins.  She demonstrates such humility in her actions, to use her tears and her hair to wash the dusty, dirty feet of someone who has been walking in sandals on unpaved roads and paths, through the market places and in the fields.  As a nurse I think of the contrast with how we health care providers can distance ourselves from our patients with gloves and gowns and masks.  Not that I am recommending that we forego these protections for ourselves and others; it is reasonable and necessary to protect against exposure to infection.  But, it might be well for us to imagine this gospel scene when ministering to a patient to remind us that God resides in that individual. Then we are humbled by His presence just as the woman in the gospel was and, despite our protective gear, there can be no distancing of our hearts and minds.


Another lesson I see in this passage relates to forgiveness from the perspectives of the one forgiving and the one being forgiven.  We often hear in the gospels about the infinite love and forgiveness that Jesus demonstrates, but it can be really difficult to believe just how forgiving He is.  We certainly do not “deserve” that kind of love.  In our society we generally feel that the recipient of our love has to be deserving of that love and that we have to be deserving of the love which we receive.  How foreign it is to see love given with no strings attached and how difficult it can be sometimes to trust and accept God’s infinite love and forgiveness.  Yet it should be so simple to be like the woman in the gospel to recognize this gift and to treasure it as she did.


For those of us who are teachers, the excerpt from Paul’s letter to Timothy is fitting at the beginning of a new school year.  Paul tells Timothy to persevere in his teaching and sharing of the gift he has received “through the prophetic word.”  For me that is a reminder that we are called to teach not only our chosen subject matter, but also to share these scripture lessons about humility, love and forgiveness both in word and action. In some way, aren’t we all called to be teachers of the prophetic word whether formally in a classroom or informally with our families, business associates, friends or the strangers we encounter throughout our day?



Supplementary Reading



Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. – Matthew 24:46


I remember the first time I entered the room for my preliminary interview. All the employees were head-bent, busy doing their work even when their manager was not around. I said to myself, “This is the kind of environment that I’d like to work in, the kind of people I’d like to work with.”

After two interviews, I was accepted as Methods Analyst at Benguet Corporation during the time of the late Jaime Ongpin and Delfin Lazaro. I can truly say that I enjoyed my work because of the high level of professionalism and integrity that prevailed in the organization.

The same can be said of our mission in life. Or the people God has put under our care. Are we faithful in carrying out what we’ve been tasked to do in this life, whether somebody’s looking or not, whether we are rewarded or not?

I guess in the end, what would matter to God is not how much we accomplished but how faithful we are in doing what we’re supposed to do in this life. Tess Atienza



W hat am I in charge of in this life? How would God evaluate what I’m doing?


My God, grant me the grace to be faithful in doing what You have tasked me to do in my life.

O Theos Na Mas Evlogisi!
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 20:15

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Quote of the Day

If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626