Hair, Tears, Oil and Forgiveness

The Gospel reading for Sunday, June 13th is a powerful story in its own right.  The details show us that this is no fairy-tale, but a parable in real life.  Really–who could script this kind of daring reversal of so many social mores?  We’d have the tendency to pretty up the details, don’t you think?  (I can hear the Hollywood producers now:  “Not so much ointment.  Let’s find a dishtowel to use, not her hair.  Lots less kissing!  Tears, well, I guess they’ll be effective.  But let’s anoint Jesus head, not his dirty feet.”)

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus reclines at the table, fearlessly participating in the breakdown of almost every dinner rule, risking the embarrassment of himself, his host, and the male guests…all for one sinful woman to express her gratitude in the way she wishes. 

Gracious Lord, may your total forgiveness mean more to us than keeping up appearances.  Amen.

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