June 12, 2016

Luke 7:36-50

“God is Merciful”

A woman like the one in today’s Gospel story invites us to use our imaginations. We might imagine what she has done to earn such a bad reputation. Maybe she is a prostitute. Maybe she is a thief. Maybe she is considered to be a traitor to her Jewish neighbours, cooperating with the Roman occupiers. Maybe she is the daughter or wife of a tax collector.

We might also imagine the woman’s name. Perhaps Jezebel – a Hebrew name meaning “one who is not noble.” Or maybe her name is Lilith, meaning “woman of the night.” Or it could be Mariana – “rebellious woman.”

But what if, instead of imagining the woman’s many sins, we imagined the moment when she was forgiven. I am remembering another story in which an unnamed woman is about to be stoned for adultery. Jesus tells her accusers to go ahead – “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” I wonder… was this that same woman, forgiven and set free to go and sin no more?

Or maybe she was just one of the prostitutes with whom Jesus shared a meal when he was … Read more »