THURSDAY AFTER PASSION SUNDAY
GOSPEL. ST. LUKE vii, 36-50.
(Jesus and Magdalene, and the Second Word of Jesus on the Cross.)
At that time one of the Pharisees desired Him to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment: and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? Simon answering said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for my feet: but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is for given, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.
To whose heart was greater joy rendered, to the contrite Magdalene whom the merciful Savior thus addressed: "Thy sins are forgiven Thee; thy faith hath made thee safe;" or to Dismas, the thief on the right, whose faith and confidence the crucified Savior rewarded with these consoling words: "Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise."
To both He gives the hope of the kingdom of heaven, the companionship of God Him self. To both He manifests His infinite love for sinners who wish to be converted, His divine power to make saints of sinners, to make, of the reprobate heirs of heaven. But see, O Christian soul, the same Savior has placed the same hope and confidence on your lips, when He taught you to pray: "Our Father, Who art in heaven." This blessed dwelling place will be given to you, if you accomplish His will on earth by fulfilling the prayer: "Hallowed be Thy Name."
For this purpose, you must, in the short span of your life, endeavor to expiate your sins and avoid them in the future; you must endure the sufferings of this life with patience and in a spirit of penance, and thus spend profitably the days of your earthly career. Then, indeed, you will in a short time hear the consoling word of your Savior: "Thy sins are forgiven thee; this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise."
LET US PRAY.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, wounded by intemperance, may be restored by healthful abstinence.
O Jesus, hanging on the holy cross, through Thy divine love toward the penitent Magdalene and Thy boundless mercy toward the penitent thief, grant us the grace to honor Thy holy name by a pious and God-fearing life, and, with Thy grace, to behold, after a happy death, our Father in heaven. Amen.