Luke 7:36-50 Hold Fast!
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Something wrong is going on when someone sins. Something worse is going on when someone sins and calls it a blessing. But the worst is when someone who does not sin turns away the sinner.
This woman’s face was her scarlet letter. Everyone knew her. Everyone knew who she was. Even she knew who she was. She admitted it. And she knew what she was doing was wrong. Ah, if only there were more humble women like this woman…But come to think of it, there probably would be if there were more humble men like the Lord.
By the looks of it, no sinner ever approached a Pharisee. I wouldn’t. Would you? Would you stretch out your hand at someone who would be repulsed by it? Would you call out for help at someone who saw you and turned the other way? Didn’t they know? Didn’t they just turn away?
No wonder the Lord was harsher with the “sinless” than he was with the sinner. They were making it so hard for others to enter Heaven.
The Lord did not come into the world to tell people that everything was okay. He did not forgive our sins by telling us there was nothing to forgive. Why do I keep telling people who do me wrong: “Oh, that’s okay. Don’t worry about it. We can all be like that. No big deal.”
Sin is a big deal. And it needs to be dealt with in a small and humble way. That’s the only way to deal with sin!
As I was coming back to the faith of my fathers, I realized that I needed to go to Confession. To know Scripture and the sacraments was not good enough. I had to experience God through the sacraments. I knew I had to go to Confession. And it was time to go to Confession. I had put it off way too long. Over ten years had passed since my last confession and I had plenty to confess. Teenage years are tough years. And the last time I had gone to confession was when I was fifteen years old. Oh boy!
So I decided to go to a parish that was very, very far away from my home. None of the priests knew me (of course). None of the parishioners knew me. I waited in line like all the other poor sinners and waited patiently for the priest to arrive. He eventually did and I was shocked!
He was a very old Franciscan monk. I couldn’t believe it. He could barely walk. I thought to myself, “If this man hears my Confession he will die!!!” But then a different thought began to stir in my mind. I actually smiled. I was convinced he wouldn’t be able to hear a thing I said.
Well, I told him everything. He listened. I cried. He gave me the best advice I had ever heard. He ended by saying, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” I answered, “For his mercy endures forever.”
Little did I know that this Confession would be the cornerstone of how I would hear all my Confessions. [Or at least try to hear all my confessions.]
Little did I know that this Confession would bring be back – heart, mind, body and soul – into the arms of Jesus Christ and to an entirely new way of living my life.
Hold fast!!! This is the ride of your life!
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