Be Fearless

In Luke 7:36 a “sinful woman” uninvited enters a Pharisee’s House an anoints and kisses Jesus’s hair and feet with perfumed oil.

 The first question that I would ask is did the woman have any preconceived ideas about what would happen when she entered the house?

I believe should would have known that the Pharisee would have been hostile to her presence. So what could she expect?

  Firstly, she knew entering house uninvited when the Pharisee had a special guest would make him furious. Secondly, she anticipated that the Pharisee would tell Jesus that this woman was of disreputable character.

So why enter the house?

 I believe her motive for entering the house was to be forgiven for her sins and upon receiving knowledge that Jesus was going to be in that house that night nothing was going to stop her from entering.

 Furthermore, I believe Jesus is the key and the woman went into the house knowing that he had the power to forgive her sins. Regardless of what other obstacles may be in way her sole goal was to seek Jesus’ forgiveness.

 What I find intriguing is how she sought Jesus’ forgiveness. The woman did this through her actions of anointing and kissing his hair and feet. She didn’t presume that Jesus would forgive her through a request and was determined to demonstrate her contrition through her actions towards the very person she knew could forgive her.

 So what is the message for us?

 Initially if we are the Pharisee not be quick to judge but be inclusive and most importantly never presume someone’s motives.

 Primarily if we are the sinful woman we must be fearless particularly if we seek forgiveness for our past mistakes. We must look to the source, (Jesus) that can begin the healing process. A process that not only reconciles us with others but also ourselves. Thus giving us greater self worth through knowing we are forgiven.

 Finally, if we are Jesus we need to always forgive unconditionally no matter the circumstances of any hurt we may feel as been inflicted by others towards us. Furthermore, when we have wronged others we need to seek Jesus and ask forgiveness.  I believe it requires great courage to pursue forgiveness from others but we need to be fearless both in actions and words so we able to forgive ourselves.

 As Jesus said, “Her sins which were many have been forgiven: hence she has shown great love.” Luke 7:47

Thus if we are fearless in our forgiveness how great would be our love for others.

Glimpses of Perfection

Recently I travelled through Austria, Germany and Scandinavia marvelling at the beauty of God’s creation. From the snow capped mountains in Salzburg, to the waterfalls in Germany and the lakes and fjords in Scandinavia I could delight in the untouched magnificence of what God had made.  When reflecting on these geographical features I was overwhelmed as they were so stunning, absolute perfection.

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5.48”

What does that mean?

 When I write an assignment, organise a mass or run a prayer service I glimpse perfection for a moment but it is only a moment. At the end of the day I never am totally satisfied I always feeling there are parts that could be improved. Thus, I believe that attempting to be perfect is something that continues to evolve rather than being an end point.

Perfection to me is always striving to be perfect.  I would question myself if I thought I did something perfect would I can become complacent and self satisfied.  I have come to the conclusion that perhaps there is no such thing has perfection but there are moments when everything goes perfectly. What I would call seeing a glimpse of perfection.










A Question of Integrity

I wonder in John 21: 15-19 Jesus is questioning Peter’s integrity when he asks him if he loves him.

The first time Peter replies,

“Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

For me these words have had me reflect on how have I fed my family and friends?                                                                   Have my words and actions been positive and nurturing making them feel comfortable about who they are and leading them to make responsible choices in their lives. Additionally, when I have been negative have I chosen to be conciliatory and done everything in power to build and maintain healthy relationships?  Thus feeding my lambs.

The second time Peter replies,

“Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.

In my role of education, I often thought my task was to engage people to think and never give up on the dreams. If I could empower them to be independent learners and be passionate about their learning hopefully I would be giving meaning and purpose to their lives.  Hence tending my sheep.

The third time Peter replies,

And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”                                                 Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”

As a human being to be a good person as a Son, Father, Friend and Educator I am challenged in my faith through my words and actions to do everything with integrity and without judgement.

As Pope Francis says, Jesus’ peculiar message is that God wants to liberate and forgive us, not leave us suffering or impose his will or power on us.  Furthermore, to accompany people, dialogue with them, share their pain, and help them to be free in love.

Consequently, to witness Jesus’ gospel message will mean I will be always acting with integrity.