Ss Cornelius, Pope & Cyprian, bishop
24th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Thursday 16th September 2021
1 Tim. 4:12-16; Ps. 110:7-8,9,10;
Lk. 7:36-50 (Ps Wk IV)
We see how Luke pays attention to Jesus’ care and respect for women. In this particular story, we must be careful not to be misled by the words describing the woman as “known in the town to be a sinner” and presume she was a prostitute and then jump to the unfounded conclusion that she was Mary Magdalene.
The Pharisees looked upon anyone who did not keep the Mosaic Law strictly as a sinner (cf. Lk 18:9). The woman may have simply been a less than fervent Jew. The most we say about her is that she was not a respectable person like Simon. There are many other contrasts in the story, such as the following.
Simon was not a very polite host, as Jesus points out to him. Still, Jesus himself was very polite and accepting towards the woman, who had obviously heard of him and presumably thought she could approach him without being rejected. The core of the story is not the woman’s but her appeal to Jesus through her dramatic gesture.
Lord Jesus, it is one of the great consolations of our faith that we can always approach you seeking acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness. Grant us the grace always to approach You in our need for understanding and acceptance.