“Learning the Grammar of Love and Mercy from the Lord and earning accolades in the University of God!
(Based on 1 Cor 15:1-11 and Lk 7:36-50 – Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time)
All of us have been school kids…
And as students, one of the most dreaded…avoided…boring… (or for the really good students…one of the most exciting…scoring…loved) topics in class was Grammar!
Grammar plays a vital function in every language!
And in grammar, Tenses play a key role…
Does the word, “Tenses” bring some tension on our face??!
Well, we are not going to reflect on any boring (or exciting…either way we consider) lesson on Grammar!
But for our surprise…
… the Gospel of the Day, presents to us Jesus, the teacher!
And He is out to teach us …well, you guessed it right… Grammar!
Welcome to the Class on Grammar…by the renowned Teacher, Jesus…
The class today is in a different setting…
It is taking place in a house, around a dinner table!
The participants in this session are many…
But the attention remains focused on three persons:
- Simon, the Pharisee
Unlike other Pharisees, this man is much more open to receive Jesus into his home.
We don’t know whether he was a die-hard fan of Jesus…but he certainly seemed not so opposed to Him!
How do we describe him?
Social Person….Diplomatic…Polished…Willing to be open…?
- Jesus, the Guest
The Lord seems to enjoy food…!
But more than food, He very certainly enjoys and values the people, He eats with!
He was happy to be a guest to Simon, the Pharisee…
… He would have been happy to sup with the class of people who were highly critical of His ways of teaching!
How do we describe Jesus?
Friendly… Welcoming… Open-hearted…Compassionate…Gentle…?
- The Sinner Woman
She was a prostitute lady, who lived selling her body to men.
She was a victim of the people’s duplicity & discrimination – misused as a source of pleasure yet despised & categorized as the scum of the society!
She however, feels privileged to have been able to come near Jesus, in whom she places her hope of receiving true acceptance and genuine love.
How do we describe her?
The story is familiar to us…
Simon hosts the dinner for Jesus…
Meanwhile, the sinner woman approaches the Lord, and showers her love and affection.
The host Simon, gets irked by this gesture…
… and scandalized by his guest allowing her to do so!
What was Simon’s problem?
He thought he was better than the prostitute.
He thought he was more righteous than the lady who sold her body!
He thought he was far more worthy than the woman who had no moral groundings!
And this is where, the Master Teacher…steps in….and teaches The Grammar of Life – changing Tenses!
Simon said, “She IS a sinner.” … in the present tense!
Jesus replied, “No, she WAS a sinner.”…in the past tense!
Jesus changed the tenses in her life.
People considered her to be woman with loose morals…
Jesus considers her to be a woman of deep love!
People thought of her as a dirty and shameless creature…
Jesus thinks of her as a beautiful and precious child of God!
How often do we fall into this grave mistake of mixing up “tenses” in the lives of people…
There is a Simon, perhaps, in all of us!
A person WOULD have been known for some misdeeds…
… but we think he/she WILL always remain to be so!
A person WOULD have committed some grave faults…
… but we think he/she WILL continue to persist in them!
A person WOULD have done some wrongs in the past…
… but we think he/she WILL be always fixated in that!
A person WOULD have displayed some bad habits…
… but we think he/she WILL always have to be condemned!
We need to learn from the Master Teacher, that God can change the “tenses” in the life of people.
We need to be hopeful from the Master Teacher, that God can change the “tenses” in our own lives.
At the end of the incident, the Master Teacher blesses the sinner lady, again, in a grammatical style…
Jesus says to the sinner lady,
“Your SINS are forgiven”… The PAST is purified!
“Your faith has SAVED you”…the PRESENT is strengthened!
“GO in peace”…the FUTURE is blessed!
Simon deserves our empathy…
… perhaps, most of us also, would have reacted in a similar way, if we were to be in his place…
Imagine having the presence of a famous prostitute barging in during some family occasion!
We too would have been very scandalized
… we too would have been ashamed
… we too would have felt offended!
But the Lord invites us to weed off… slowly at least… the little SIMONness in us….
… the tendency to judge people based on their past life.
… the tendency to fail to give any room or chance for improvement.
… the tendency to not able to see the persons, however bad, as ultimately being children of God, our Father!
Let us depend on the Grace of the Lord for transformation in our life, just as St Paul testifies and declares: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His Grace toward me was not in vain!” (1 Cor 15:10)
Jesus, the Master Teacher can change tenses in our lives, in the lives of others!
Let us learn this Grammar of Love and Mercy from the School of Jesus…
… and earn accolades in the University of God!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “”Do not generalize from a particular instance.
Do not say that a certain person is a drunkard, because you have seen him drunk once…