In today’s Gospel, we hear of a woman showing true sorrow for her sins. This woman wept for her sins and “gave” Jesus her tears, symbolizing how she was moved by His gift to her, because she was seeking God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy. In response to this very powerful action, Jesus said to Simon the Pharisee: “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love.”
With this in mind, we recall that we are in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Just as the sinful woman in today’s Gospel revealed how sorry she was, we too are called to do the same. (We are the sinful woman who, in showing our contrition for our sins, open ourselves to receiving the gift of God’s mercy!) In order to receive God’s mercy, we must acknowledge we have acted against God and one another, and truly want the abundant love and forgiveness God has for each and every one of us. We are challenged to be courageous and humble — we are challenged to honestly recognize where we have failed in our lives, and how we can improve. A great example of this challenge is through the Sacrament of Confession; by fully admitting what we have done wrong, we bring our mistakes to God and ask for His forgiveness. If we are separated from God due to sin, how will we be able to feel His presence in our daily lives?
Being sinners means that we have our ups and downs. While we face our difficulties, we find consolation when we fall because we know that God’s mercy will heal us and help us back up. Because of His goodness, God wants all of us to be united with Him regardless of what we have done. But in order to be united with Him, we must respond in some way to God’s will for our salvation. So as you live out this week, remember that God is always with you. Just as Christ’s gift of mercy lifted up the sinful woman, His mercy can help us too – no matter what we face, good or bad, know that if we are true to His word and wish to follow Him, we will one day gain eternal life with Him.