Eleventh Sunday
in Ordinary Time
A Homily - Cycle C - 2012-2013
by Rev. Luke Dundon


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First Reading - 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11
Second Reading - Galatians 2:16, 19-21
Gospel - Luke 7:36-8:3

Written to explain that
Christ came to save everyone.

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.  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.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.  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."  Jesus said to him in reply, "Simon, I have something to say to you."  "Tell me, teacher," he said.  "Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.  Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.  Which of them will love him more?"  Simon said in reply, "The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."  He said to him, "You have judged rightly."

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman?  When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment.  So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.  But the one to whom little forgiven, loves little."  He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"  But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Twenty years ago, my Dad and I were on a camping trip with fellow Boy Scouts at Massanutten Mountain.  It was a cool fall day, and we were helping to clear rocks from the ski slope in preparation for the ski season – the resort in turn allowed us to campout along the hillside.  After dinner, it was getting cold, the snow blowers were starting to work, and we were attempting to wash our pots and pans in 35 degree weather, with cold water and steel wool pads.  A few of my friends mentioned that the ski resort had restrooms with warm water to wash our stuff, but the gown-ups would have nothing of it . . . until they noticed that the pots and pans looked dirtier after trying to wash them in the cold.  And so, as we successfully cleaned our stuff in the bathroom sink of the resort, my dad said, “I have something to say about all this . . . isn’t it great that we have this warm water nearby?”  I laughed, thinking, “um, yes, thank you, Dad!”

But Dad was always good at that – he had this knack to point out the important things – the food on the Thanksgiving table, the clothes in my dresser, the broccoli on my dinner plate . . . Dad was always quick to make sure we saw the blessings.

And I think he’s passed it on – someone recently asked me how my past two years at St. Philip’s have been going.  I mentioned that spiritual fatherhood gets better with each month, the blessings just keep pouring in!  I pray that the same happens for Fr. Thomas at St. Theresa’s.  I pray that we always recognize how much we have been given.

Jesus said to the Pharisee Simon, “I have something to say to you, Simon.”  Do you realize how much YOU have been given, like this woman did?  She’s bathed my feet and wiped them with her hair, she MUST appreciate how much I’ve blessed her, especially through my divine gift of Forgiveness.  Simon the Pharisee, however, had made the mistake that everything he had was a result of HIS own doing . . . and he failed to notice the God who was having dinner with him!

And so, Fathers, brothers in the Lord, I have something to say here – have we taken sufficient time to recognize how much WE’VE been given?  Our families, our homes, our jobs, our health, our FAITH?”  Have we REALLY recognized and appreciated the priceless gifts we’ve been given by God, which exceed any paycheck, surpass any promotion, and transcend any worldly accolade?  Have we REALLY taken the time to recognize who GAVE us these priceless gifts, and given thanks for them?  If we have, then it will show in our love, our joy, our GRATITUDE.

And our families will notice this gratitude.  The kids will notice this.  And they’ll imitate it.  So if we are making the time to recognize how much God has given us, then the next generation will do the same.  And then you’ll give them the greatest gift ever – the ability to see the God who is generously giving them so much, every moment of their lives.  And they’ll have something to say to YOU - thank you, Dad.

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