CANON ANTHONY WRITES:-
It can be very easy, at times, to be closed in our thinking, to see things, or situations, or people, solely from our own perspective. If, and when we do that, then we can convince ourselves that our view, our way is always correct.
In the Gospel today Simon has his own ideas about the woman who welcomes Jesus by anointing his feet with ointment. Simon, in fact questions who Jesus is, because he says that if Jesus were a prophet he would know the reputation of the woman, and what a bad name she has. As always though Jesus has that ability to stand back from situations, he doesn’t allow himself to be drawn in, he has another way of looking at things, indeed he doesn’t just see the negatives but he is able to recognise the full picture.
Despite her history, and reputation, Jesus understands this woman; he appreciates the welcome she has given him, but he also understands that she understands him, she knows what he alone can do. Her tears are tears of appreciation because she has been forgiven. Jesus recognises her fundamental goodness, the love that is within this woman.
It is a wonderful ability that Jesus has to be able to stand back, and to see and understand all that goes on in people’s lives. To see the failings, yes, but also to be able to see why such failings occur, and also to be able to see the good that people do as well. What Jesus has is the capacity to see the whole picture, to see the complete story.
We can marvel at this way of Jesus, like those at table with him we too can ask: ‘who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ It is good to ponder who Jesus is, to reflect on what he does and says, at how he relates with people, whatever their background or reputation. It is good for us to ponder and reflect on him so that we can learn from him, so that we can model ourselves on him.
Jesus shows us how to be open to others, not to be judgemental, but rather to remember that there is nearly always more than we can at first hear or see.