Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner. (Luke 7:39)
They knew her only as the harlot. The outcast. Pariah. Even as she wet her lord’s feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, they despised her as ‘a sinner.’
But they didn’t know what she knew. They didn’t see what Jesus saw. And I wonder if they would have even cared. Jesus changed her from the inside out. She knelt before her Lord as a new creation. His beloved and precious possession. She’d been born again. Mary was, as St. Paul would later describe, “Washed . . . sanctified . . . [and] justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Do you think she might still have had her detractors until the day she died? Did some always call her ‘whore’? Human nature being as it is, I’m sure Mary heard the whispers and caught the glances for the rest of her life. Some never will see what God sees. They never will know the change God works in the heart of the penitent.
Of hers. Of mine.
Or of yours.
“You can’t.” “You won’t.” “You’ll never.”
We are today – now -- each in a deadly spiritual battle against the Father of Lies who, then as now, has many to do his bidding. He has many who wag their tongue at the Lord’s beloved, who rip at our confidence in God’s wondrous promises and His unfaltering love for us. He has many who labor with him to destroy our souls, who insist we are who we were -- and who will never accept who we have become in Christ.
Christian! Turn your eyes again and always upon Jesus. In prayer, meditating on the Scriptures, and in receiving the Eucharist, gaze into His wonderful face. And you will find the slanders of earth-minded people grow increasingly muffled in the light of Christ’s glory and grace.
Oh, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as St. Paul tells us, "The weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ." Teach us, Oh Lord, to take every thought captive to Christ. Amen.