Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 24th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Luke 7:36-50
Jesus is invited by a wealthy Pharisee named Simon to his house for a meal. Despite Jesus’ growing reputation as a great prophet (He has recently raised the widow’s son from the dead in Nain – Luke 7:11-17), Simon is skeptical of Christ; he refuses the most common courtesies (i.e. water for washing feet, a kiss of brotherhood), especially insulting given Christ’s reputation and stature as a rabbi. Simon, foolishly, has invited Jesus into his home to test Him.
Jesus sits reclined at table, His feet behind Him. A woman, recognized by her reputation in the town as a sinner (likely a prostitute and/or promiscuous), subtlety crawls up behind Christ, washes His feet with her tears, dries His feet with her hair and applies expensive ointment.
Christ correctly assesses both the state of the women’s soul and Simon’s soul. The sinful woman has fully repented, put her faith in Christ and demonstrated profound humility and reverence for the Lord. In contrast, Simon is deceitful in his praise (i.e. calling Jesus “Teacher” while lacking respect), mistakenly confident in his own piety and judgmental of the sinful woman.
Using a parable and asserting His authority over Simon, Jesus engages Simon to expose his own sinfulness and that he lacks charity; ominously, Christ implies that Simon’s lack of repentance, love for the woman and respect for Him will effect Christ’s forgiveness of Simon’s sins. In contrast, Jesus startles those in attendance by forgiving the woman’s sins, crediting her faith (and repentance) and telling her to “go in peace.”
Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, the Divine Prophet is omniscient, mysteriously knowing both the inner thoughts of the Pharisee and the sinful woman. Jesus Christ, Divine King and Judge, bluntly exposes Simon’s sinfulness in public and subtlety warns him that, without love, his sins won’t be forgiven. Son of God, Jesus has the authority to forgive the repentant woman’s sins.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Each man will be personally judged by Christ. Reflect on Christ’s Divine power and authority to judge your soul and to ether invite you into Heaven or send you to Hell. Consider this until you have a holy fear.
2) One reason why only 1 in 4 Catholic men consider themselves to be a “practicing Catholic” is because they fail to honestly face their sins and their need for the Savior. The sinful woman has the self-mastery to recognize her sins, to have great sorrow and to beg for forgiveness. Pray for Christ to help you recognize your sins (especially the less obvious things you fail to do), to have a visceral sorrow and to confess your sins in Reconciliation.
3) Like the sinful woman, the majority of Catholic men today are stuck in the sexual sin of pornography. Recall, Christ says, “But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery”; adultery is mortal sin. Like the addiction of alcoholism, pornography can’t be “managed”; absolute abstinence is the only way to purity and salvation. Go before Christ in the Tabernacle and pray that He help you give up pornography for the rest of your life.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist
Virtue of the Day – Fortitude
Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently