The greatest king of Israel, a law abiding Pharisee, and a well-known sinful woman come together this week to teach us about sin, humility, and forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36 - 8:3). We see the great King David revealed to be a murderer and an adulterer. He who was so powerful and blessed by God succumbed to temptation, sinned, and then sinned even more severely. However, when his evil deeds came to light, he humbly repented and discovered, to his great relief, that God had forgiven him.
The Pharisee’s sin was slight in comparison to David’s. He omitted the usual hospitality of having his guest’s feed washed and judged Jesus not to be a prophet. Furthermore, in his pride, the first of the capital sins, he judged the woman. Only God judges. When we judge, we put ourselves in the place of God.
We don’t know for sure what the woman’s sin was, but we can make a good guess. She knew what she had done and humbled herself in repentance for her sins, and showed her love for God by washing, drying, and perfuming our Lord’s feet. Of the king, the Pharisee, and the woman, she outshines the other two, for humility, the mother of all virtues, is the first step to the greatest – LOVE.
- Father Carl