Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Another In-Between Reflection…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 19, 2008

Meditation: Luke 7:36-50

Consider how the two people in this parable approached Jesus. Simon didn’t show [Him] any courtesy: He didn’t embrace [Him], didn’t offer to wash [His] feet, and didn’t anoint [Him] with oil.

The woman, on the other hand, lavished Jesus with the love and respect that Simon withheld. It’s clear that despite her sins, she understood who Jesus was. But despite his years of religious training, Simon couldn’t even accept Jesus as an honored guest, let alone as a prophet or the Messiah!

These two attitudes are a powerful lesson to help us examine how we to relate to Jesus, especially when we are at Mass. Like the parable, the Mass is both a meal where Jesus shares table fellowship with us and an opportunity for us to encounter [Him] in a new way. So how will you greet [Him]? Obviously, we don’t want to behave like Simon, who snubbed Jesus and scorned the sinner in his midst. We want to be like the woman, who without knowing Jesus all that well, gave her heart to [Him].

As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. We’re somewhat like Simon in that we are blessed to have heard the truths about God and about [His] Eucharistic gift to us.  Still, it’s possible for this knowledge to remain in our brains and never make its way into our hearts. If we’re not careful, we can end up performing our obligations and forgetting that we are in the very presence of Almighty God! What is the best way to defend against such an attitude? To remember what this woman knew so well: We are sinners in need of a savior—and Jesus has come and saved us!

Look at the end of the passage, and you will see how Jesus rewards a humble heart. He forgave the woman before she even said a word to [Him]! We can experience this same intimacy with Jesus at every Mass if we come to [Him] as she did. If we understand the great price [He] paid for us, we will receive [Him] with love and adoration—and [He] will pour [His] healing and mercy into our hearts!

Jesus, I love you—and each time I receive you in the Eucharist, my love grows! Help me to grasp the magnitude of this gift and to show it by loving my neighbor just as you love me.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11; 
Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,28

~Daily Meditation: Friday, Sept 13, 2008; Word Among Us publication (emphasis added)

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