Thursday, XXIV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Your Faith has Saved You; go in Peace

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 15:1-11; Ps: 118; Gos: Lc 7:36-50

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the Thursday of the twenty-fourth week of ordinary time. In today’s gospel, Luke presents the encounter between Christ with “a sinful woman” in the house of Simon.

Christ pronounced to the woman, “your sins are forgiven.” This woman got her forgiveness through her action, which communicated volumes to Jesus.

She demonstrated her urgent need and asked for it. She equally claimed her forgiveness with her faith by picking up her jar and walking away.

So, Christ demonstrated that what matters is not the graveness of our sins.  Instead, it is our willingness to ask for forgiveness and to change our way and life.

This encounter reminds us that God’s justice and mercy cannot be influenced by our accusers or by our past life. What matters to him is our future, and our willingness to change and be faithful.

A vital lesson we must learn today is that, although God is ready to forgive us, we must be prepared to ask for it. In that case, we should be prepared to say, please forgive me, have mercy on me, or I am sorry.

We must not always presume forgiveness. Just like sin is an act, forgiveness is also an act that counters its effect. When forgiveness is granted to us, we should accept it with faith and move on with our life.

On our part, we must also be ready to grant it to those who need it dearly from us. This is what it means to be the image and likeness of God. It means the readiness to act like God in his mercy, love, and forgiveness.   

When Jesus says, “your sins are forgiven,” he means every bit of it, and we must accept it in faith because: “He is not a man that he should lie” (Nu 23:19). All he wants us to do is live a better life and resolve not to sin again.

Finally, the psalmist tells us: “Happy the man whose offenses are forgiven (Ps 31:2). When we have been forgiven, we must “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for His mercy endures forever” (Ps 118:1-2).

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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