Thursday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

In the Gospel, a notoriously sinful woman learns that Jesus is in town and comes to the place where He’s eating. In those days, Jews ate at table as they laid upon elevated beds, with cushions under their chest or side, and with their feet stretched out behind them. The woman came in, and stood behind Jesus, at his feet, weeping. She came to Jesus because she had heard His proclamation of mercy, that He came ‘not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.’

She bathes his feet with her tears. Why doesn’t she fetch water for this?

She wipes His feet with her hair. Why doesn’t she just use a towel?

She kisses His feet repeatedly. Why does she kiss his feet? 

The Gospel does not mention the exact nature of the sinful woman’s past, but perhaps her lips had kissed many, perhaps her beautiful hair had been shared with many, perhaps her eyes had shed many tears, from the great pain that follows impure romances. So the woman uses her own tears, and hair, and lips because she desires to honor God, through Jesus, with her body, in her body, and through her body. Her faith saved her, and gave her peace, a faith she expressed through her body. May our faith be like hers.

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