Without faith, David would never have asked for God’s forgiveness. Neither would have the penitent woman of this Gospel, whose great faith and love so pleased Jesus.


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The readings this Sunday underline the importance of our faith–faith in the dying and rising of Jesus Christ for our sins, and faith in the mercy of God toward sinners. God is much more concerned about our faith than He is about our sins!

The common theme of God’s unbelievable mercy ties together the First Reading about King David’s plea for forgiveness and the Gospel which is all about the uninvited woman who bursts into the Pharisee’s house to anoint the feet of Jesus!

David, the best king in all of Israel’s history, had nevertheless given in to lustful desires. His desire for Bathsheba was so uncontrolled that he deliberately had her husband murdered, then took this attractive woman for his own pleasure. When the prophet, Nathan, very bravely confronted David about this sin, the King broke down and begged forgiveness of God. Considering all the great favors God had bestowed on David–protecting him from Saul, providing divine assistance against David’s enemies, and giving him a glorious kingdom–the king had already seriously offended God by his ingratitude. Add to this his serious sins of murder and adultery, and we are amazed that the Lord still loved David, and forgave him!

The Gospel concerns Jesus at a banquet in the house of Simon, the Pharisee. A woman comes into the banquet room uninvited, and shocks the whole gathering by her actions. Bursting into tears, she falls at Jesus’ feet. She breaks every social rule by letting down her hair, touching this man, and even kissing his feet. Then, she pours soothing oil over those feet. Jesus not only allows her to do this, but even explains to Simon that her great faith has merited God’s forgiveness for her sins. Then, Jesus concludes with a very human touch. Jesus points out to Simon that his neglect of providing water and oil for his guests as they arrived has been more than made up for by the behavior of this woman (whom Simon obviously despises).

Where does the second reading from Galatians fit in? St. Paul’s words declare that it is faith that merits God’s forgiveness. Without faith, David would never have asked for God’s forgiveness. Neither would have the penitent woman of this Gospel, whose great faith and love so pleased Jesus. Without faith, we cannot expect to enter God’s heaven.

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