Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Then Jesus took him up and said, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' He replied, 'Say on, Master.' 'There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?' Simon answered, 'The one who was let off more, I suppose.' Jesus said, 'You are right.' Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.'
Do you see this woman?
Simon doesn’t. He doesn’t see that giving yourself away in love is the reason we exist.
He doesn’t see himself as a receiver of the wonder of divine love. The woman does, and that makes all the difference in the world.
He thinks he needs little from God and therefore receives little. He imagines he is less in need than this creature weeping at Jesus feet, and therefore he is much less than she is.
She is a truly human soul, but he has not yet arrived at this elevated state. And he will never arrive until he realizes he is in as much, no, greater need than she is.
His heart will not come to full flower, like hers, until he is filled with the awareness of God’s love touching, lifting, cherishing … him.
Until then, he will not … and cannot see. He can see neither himself, the woman or anything else because he sees not as a receiver of life but as one who imagines himself a master of life and living, who is a cut above the common run of humanity.
Only those who receive divine love, those who know their need, who receive each day, each moment, as the gift it is--not as an entitlement--are freed to live in love.
True life and joy begins in receiving. It is the simplest truth of all. Nothing could be more obvious. But so few see it.
At the beginning of our lives, we are utterly helpless, dependent on others for everything. We are a burning center of insatiable need, and others care for us or we die.
We are receivers and learn to love, to smile, to show joy and appreciation in connection with those who love us enough to make sure that we have what we need.
This doesn’t change even though we imagine that we need less as we are more able to care for ourselves. Even then we are utterly dependent on the love and care of others who make this world work, and we are utterly dependent on the secret, the magic, the spark that makes our bodies live, something that even our best science is yet to explain.
We receive this… every moment, whether we are aware of it or not. Every breath, every moment is a gift of life we simply receive.
Some lovingly cherish each gift of life, breath and love. They are truly human souls, who see.
Pr. David L. Miller