Homily – 11th Sunday Ordinary Time June 17, 2007

Homily – 11th Sunday Ordinary Time    June 17, 2007

The Supper at the House of Simon - Philippe de Champaigne c. 1656

In today’s Gospel we encounter two very different people dining at table with Jesus:  Simon the Pharisee, and an unnamed Woman.

Simon has invited Jesus to his house to dine with him.  But after examining this Pharisees actions, one might question why Simon did so in the first place.

With Jesus present right before his eyes, Simon’s eyes are busy instead staring with disapproval at the other people around him.

His heart is also entertaining doubts about Jesus, doubting that Jesus is really the Person who His disciples claim He is.

Finally, Simon barely shows any common courtesy to Our Lord, as is evidenced by the fact that he does none of the customary things Jews of his day would do when they invited a friend or important person over their house to dine with them.

Apparently, Simon either is very weak and lacking in charity and fervor towards Jesus, or else he has other motives for dining with Jesus than friendship and discipleship.

Now we turn to the woman at table with Jesus.  In contrast to Simon, the woman isn’t looking around at others.

Her tear-filled eyes and her repentant heart are totally fixed on the Lord.

The only persons sins she’s thinking about are her own many past sins, and Jesus’ example of sinlessness.

And unlike Simon the Pharisee, the woman has no doubt that Jesus is the Prophet that His disciples claim Him to be.

Finally, not content with giving Jesus just customary courtesy and affection given to ordinary guests, the woman publically shows Jesus more than that:  Before everyone present at the dinner she piously kisses the feet of Christ, and makes an sacrificial offering to him of costly perfume;

And because she has shown great love to Jesus, Her many sins are forgiven.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, at this and at every Mass we too invite Jesus to dine with us at our House of Worship.

We have built and kept up this Church building, and placed this Altar in it, and employed a Catholic priest, so that, every Sunday at least, Jesus can come and dine with us here at the Table of the Last Supper, sacramentally made present in the Eucharist.

And so as we recline at table today with Jesus, we should ask ourselves “Am I more like the Pharisee in today’s Gospel, or am I more like the woman in today’s Gospel?”

Do I, like Simon the Pharisee, find myself looking disapprovingly at that person in the other pew or up on the altar, do I find myself making rash judgments about them?

Do I like Simon find myself wavering in my faith, entertaining doubts about who the Church says Jesus is, and what He teaches?

Have I invited Jesus to dine with me today for the sole reason that I what Him to be my best friend and my Lord?

Have I shown Christ that I value His Presence at my House of Worship by dressing up appropriately for Holy Mass, by preparing spiritually before Mass begins, and by getting to Mass before it starts and leaving after it ends?

Am I trying rather to be like the woman in the Gospel,
not afraid to show piety and devotion towards Jesus?

When I enter Church do I genuflect reverently (assuming I have good knees)?  Do I consciously and devoutly make the
full sign of the cross over myself at the appropriate times?

Do I make a real bow during the recitation of the Creed, and remember to bow my head as a sign of reverence before receiving communion?

Do I say the Our Father, and the other prayers and responses of the Mass conscious of what I’m saying?

Or, do I rush through or carelessly do or say these outward actions of love and devotion?

More importantly, does being in Jesus’ presence make me inwardly like that woman, weeping both tears of sorrow over my past sins and tears of joy over Jesus’ goodness and mercy towards me?

Finally, am I, like the penitent woman, generous in my sacrificial giving to the Church and to the poor?

Am I offering Jesus fine perfume, or cheap cologne?

Jesus, as you come to dine with me today in this Eucharist, help me to more fully, consciously and actively acknowledge your Real Presence in my midst.

May I show you my great love, and may you show me your great Mercy.

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