My older brother loves a simple Vietnamese soup my mother makes. The soup is so seemingly uncomplicated that no restaurant would ever serve it. We had it frequently in our family, and although I liked it, I wasn’t crazy about it like my brother.
After he moved out for college, my brother purposefully told my parents when he was planning on coming home, so my mom had enough time to make his favorite soup. Predictably, he devoured at least one huge bowl every time, and his absolute delight was so genuine that it was contagious.
When I moved away to enter the convent, I went a full year without eating this soup, and after a couple of years, I started looking forward to this soup and my brother’s predictable enjoyment of mom’s home cooking. It was just the right balance of simple ingredients, cooked at just the right temperature, and served with just the right amount of rice.
Saint Paul’s words in today’s First Reading are meant to strike a familiar cadence: “I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand” (1 Corinthians 15:1).
He wants us to be encouraged and to be grounded. He wants the Gospel to be familiar, warming our hearts much like our mother's homemade soup.
The woman in today's Gospel was so lavish in her expression of love for Our Lord that it made onlookers uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassed.
But Our Lord is completely in stride with her. He responds with equal abundance as He defends her and receives her love saying, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love” (Luke 7:47).
Sister, may we be women who become so familiar with being loved by God and loving others that it becomes a part of our bones. May this experience of love ground us so that tasting God's goodness—especially at the Sacred Liturgy—we will always remember and understand that we are infinitely, tenderly loved every second of every day.