Today’s Reading: Luke 7:36-50
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was sitting at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 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 sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” 41 “A certaincreditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her,”Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
a sinner: The host and dinner guests knew the woman’s reputation, although her sins are not specified for the reader (7:39). Jesus’ own reputation in 7:34 is confirmed, since he befriends even sinners to extend them mercy.
alabaster flask: An elegant stone jar. The woman’s lavish use of the ointment is an expression of her courage and contrition, as she goes beyond the already extravagant norms of Eastern hospitality. A similar episode occurs in Bethany before Passion Week.
denarii: A denarius was a Roman coin equivalent to a laborer’s daily wage. Central to the parable is the considerable difference between five hundred and fifty day’s wages.
for she loved much: As illustrated by the parable (7:41-43), the woman’s love was the effect of her forgiveness, not the cause of it.