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Thursday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

What a person is really like down deep comes out in his actions. We all certainly must have some good and bad in us. For no one of us always does good things - and no one of us always does bad things (I hope).

This Simon who invited Jesus to dinner might have had a lot of good qualities, but what the story says about him reveals his bad ones. He must not have held Jesus in high regard because he showed his disrespect for him by not carrying out the normal niceties of social behavior.

He provided no water for Jesus to wash off the dust of the road from his feet; he didn’t anoint Jesus with a splash of pleasant scented oil. Simon also showed no understanding nor mercy towards those who were considered sinners when he stuck his nose up as Jesus allowed the woman of ill repute to touch him. Simon considered himself much better than she.

That very woman of ill repute showed her regard and love for Jesus by what she did, washing and perfuming his feet. She was showing sorrow and repentance for her sins. She was ready to receive God’s forgiveness. And so she did.

Jesus says there is freedom in forgiveness and courage in acknowledging sinfulness.

In this current time of suffering, tribulation, and an abundance of sin, let us ask our God for forgiveness, to love one another and to offer our hand in taking evil and converting it to a good. Forgiveness can change a life. Let's take this opportunity to forgive someone close to us. Let’s recognize that if each of us today forgives one person, the world can be transformed.

By becoming aware of things we do when not putting on an act, we can discover what we are really like deep down. We then know what needs changing in us, we know what repentance and forgiveness we need. And we can pray to God with all sincerity to make that change happen, while we do what we can to speed the process along. How easy is that?

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