Being Made Clean

In today’s gospel, we hear about the encounter between Jesus and a leper: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” [Jesus] stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” Clearly about a physical cleansing. But all week has been about “cleansing” of different varieties.

The first readings all week (except Wednesday’s Nativity of John the Baptist) have been about God making clean the people of God. Monday the Kingdom of Israel (the 10 northern tribes who broke away  from the throne of King David) was conquered by Assyria (722 BCE) as either the kings nor the people remembered or cared about the Covenant with God. And it wasn’t for lack of prophets being sent to let them know, repent or God will “clean house.” Continue reading

Love and forgiveness: actions

Simon-Sinful-WomanAction, Reaction. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

Because of our familiarity with the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet during Holy Week, we perhaps move to quickly to she…anointed them with the ointment. If we are careful readers, we see that the first action was she stood behind him at his feet weeping. Why was she weeping? Continue reading