2 Samuel 12:7-10,13
Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord the God of Israel says this, “I anointed you king over Israel; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms; I gave you the House of Israel and of Judah; and if this were not enough, I would add as much again for you. Why have you shown contempt for the Lord, doing what displeases him? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, taken his wife for your own, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”’
David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Then Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.’
We acknowledge that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ. We had to become believers in Christ Jesus no less than you had, and now we hold that faith in Christ rather than fidelity to the Law is what justifies us, and that no one can be justified by keeping the Law. In other words, through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake. I cannot bring myself to give up God’s gift: if the Law can justify us, there is no point in the death of Christ.
One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’
Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
Now after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.
And I now live now with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me
There was a time where I used to get very upset when things were not going my way. This was despite me praying to God earnestly for him to grant me what I desired. Yet in the entire process, I never asked myself if my prayer request was grounded in faith. The readings of today remind us that faith is an important aspect of our Christian life and the readings throughout have a constant message: our faith in God will allow us to discover the depths of God’s love for us.
St Paul shares with us in the second reading the need to depend on Jesus Christ for every aspect of our lives. This means we will need to ask God to allow us to accept whatever His plans are meant for us even though it may not be in line with what we want. Faith in Jesus Christ means a total surrender of our will. This faith requires us to share with others the same joy we have experienced in this personal encounter with Jesus. The example of how Jesus forgave the sins of the woman with a bad name in the Gospel was because of her faith in Jesus. This means that Jesus knows the level of faith within us and asks that we continue to deepen this wonderful gift.
It is probably easier for us to remain at the status quo but Christianity has always been about living out values which contradict that of the world. We live out those values because of our faith in Jesus who will continue to strengthen us in all that we say and do.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of faith you have granted us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who continue to share the faith with others