“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47)
In today’s Gospel passage, we encounter a woman who received forgiveness of her sins as a reward for her act of humility and love. She had a bad reputation in the community so much so that she is simply referred to as a “sinner.”
Words were not enough to express her contrition so she simply cried. She wet the feet of Jesus with her tears and used her hair (her pride) to wipe them. Then she brought out her alabaster flask of ointment to anoint the feet of Jesus.
If we were to analyse step by step the action of this woman in this Gospel passage, we would see that each time we make a good confession, we are basically doing the same thing this woman did.
Firstly, this woman recognized the divinity of Christ. To make a good confession, we must first see Christ in the priest. Secondly, she came to Jesus publicly. We must be humble enough to approach the priest for confession rather than stay in our rooms. Humility is an important step to receiving forgiveness of sins. Thirdly, she was sorry for her sins. The foundation of a good confession is sincere sorrow for our sins. Fourthly, this woman poured an expensive ointment over the feet of Jesus. This was her penance, her sacrificial offering to God. Jesus said to her: “Your sins are forgiven.”
What if I stay in my room? Will God withhold his forgiveness from me? Of course, God will never withhold forgiveness from a humble and contrite heart. Sacramental confession is taking a step further. It makes you accountable to someone. If you really want to overcome sin, you cannot do it alone. You have to journey with someone. In the same way, if you are sick of a disease, you must speak with a doctor.
Even the very act of narrating your own sins forces you to look inwards. Healing begins by admitting your faults and recognizing there are areas you need to work on to become a better person. Don’t be shy. The priest never remembers your sins. Not even God remembers them afterward. Once you confess, you become a new creature. Old things are passed away.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, grant me the humility to approach you in the sacrament of confession. Amen
Bible Study: Timothy 4:12-16, Psalm 111 and Luke 7:36-50).