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Time to Love the Sinner in All of Us

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13

Nathan said to David:
“Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘I anointed you king of Israel.
I rescued you from the hand of Saul.
I gave you your lord’s house and your lord’s wives for your own.
I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah.
And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more.
Why have you rejected the LORD and done evil in his sight?
You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword;
you took his wife as your own,
and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites.
Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house,
because you have looked down on me
and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’”

Then David said to Nathan,
“I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan answered David:
“The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11

R. (cf. 5c) Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Blessed is the one whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

Second Reading: Galatians 2:16, 19-21

Brothers and sisters:
We who know that a person is not justified by works of the law
but through faith in Jesus Christ,
even we have believed in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ
and not by works of the law,
because by works of the law no one will be justified.
For through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God;
for if justification comes through the law,
then Christ died for nothing.

Gospel: Luke 7:36—8:3

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
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is 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.”

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others who provided for them
out of their resources.

NAB

DEV_J12

I used to think I was a pretty good judge of character. Well, until my character was judged and I was all, “How could they? Don’t they know me?”

Hey, kettle. Hey, pot. You’re black.

Several years ago I found myself in a new city, in a new parish with zero friends. Our parish was hosting a Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat and I thought it might be a fun way to meet some new people. I remember walking into that room, taking a quick glance around and deciding in less than two minutes what women I would probably click with and which ones would just be acquaintances.

There was the single mom with two kids, one of which had childhood cancer. I could pray for her, but we probably wouldn’t get to know one another well.

That other mom had like four kids—a huge family!—and I was only pregnant with my first. We had zero in common.

And so the list went.

As we went through formation and got to hear each woman’s journey, each woman’s path to Christ, I was blown away by God’s grace, mercy, and love. It was embarrassing how wrong I was about those beautiful hearts in that group of women. That single mom? Her son ended up fighting one hell of a fight and beat cancer. She and her son serve as daily inspiration for me. That mom of many? She’s now my fourth kiddo’s Godmother. We adore her.

Every time—every single time—I think I have someone figured out, I can almost hear God laugh and feel my heart change. Who am I to look at another woman, especially that sinful woman, and judge her soul, judge her intent, judge her faith?

My Indiana CRHP sisters showed me how to be a mom. They invited me to dig deep, real deep, and pour the foundation to a loving and honest relationship with God. I am forever grateful God took my judgmental heart and turned it into one filled with love.

Isn’t He so good? Go love someone today for who they really are and not for what you think they may be.

Reach out to that woman you judge and send her a note of encouragement.

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer, and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.

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