Meditation for Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
(1 Tim 4:12-16; Lk 7:36-50)

Welcome back to our meditations on St Paul’s first letter to Timothy. He continues to instruct the young man on how to handle affairs in the Church. “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, faith, in purity.” He advised him to organize a public reading of scripture, preaching, and teaching. As a leader, he should put his gifts to us and devote himself to his duties. St Paul concludes today’s instructions by saying to Timothy, “Take heed to yourself and to your teaching: hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

In the gospel, Jesus teaches about the relationship between forgiveness and love. The Pharisees felt scandalized that Jesus allowed a woman, who was known to be a sinner, to wipe His feet with her long hair, kiss them and anoint them with ointment. As they murmured against Jesus, He called the Pharisee, Simon, and taught him that the debtor to whom the creditor forgave more debt would love that creditor more. And turning to the woman Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Love and forgiveness go together. The one whose sins are forgiven responds with much love; the one who loves much receives forgiveness of sins! The love of a humble contrite heart is always accepted by the Lord (Ps 51:17). Humbled at the feet of Jesus with her tears of contrition, she offered her sacrifice (penance) of costly ointment and offered all to Jesus with her kiss of love. We can relive this experience through the mystical body of Christ when we kneel at Confession and by anointing the feet of the poor with our oil of charity. In the face of such humility and love, Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then, we draw closer to Him with greater love than before, clinging unto Him with the arms of faith. He inspires us forward saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Amen.

Saints Cornelius & Cyprian, Pray for us. Amen.

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Thursday, September 16th, 2021.

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