Thursday, September 25, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning towards 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 bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
Truth that sets free
She believed. She trusted that what Jesus said was true, no, that it is the ultimate truth of her soiled and broken life. More: She believed the grace she felt flowing from Jesus is the ultimate truth of life.
She could have believed otherwise and likely did … until she met Jesus.
She believed that she was what others said she was--rejected, tainted, sinful, unacceptable, an outcast. She doesn’t belong among those invited to the party to enjoy life’s better things.
There are many who believed this about her, and she no doubt internalized this identity. She knew who she was … this rejected, unwelcome thing. She believed the lie that she was not beautiful, a soul of infinite worth, the apple of God’s eye, beloved for all time. (So many of us believe this lie!)
The rejected often internalize the identity and value others project on them, and this is who they become, acting out a part they were never meant to play, internalizing their oppression.
Forgiven, the woman is given back … herself. She is free to become what the Loving Mystery created to her be, bearing the grace and beauty, dignity and honor. Jesus restores her to herself, setting her free for a fresh future.
And she believes. She has faith. She grasps his words as her reality, the ultimate truth of her life, in the process rejecting the rejection that had rained down on her … as a lie.
Faith grabs hold of ultimate truth. It grasps what your heart accepts as the truth about the world, yourself, the lives of others … about God’s presence or absence, about whether the world is graced or forsaken
Are Jesus words true or are the opinions of those who reject me the real truth of my life? Do I live in a world where grace is real and seeks me very moment of my day, or is this illusion?
The woman believes Jesus … and is saved.
Freedom, a fresh future, the joy of belovedness … this is all hers the moment she believes that Jesus … not Simon … speaks the truth of her life … and ours.
Pr. David L. Miller