Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord

The Gospel reading today is powerful and touching. A sinful woman, recognizing her sinfulness, ministers to Jesus by washing his feet with her tears, drying them with her hair, anointing them with fragrant ointment. In effect she is saying, “I know I am not worthy! I am so sorry! You are so good, so strong, so loving, so wise, that I can only find peace when I am bowed down before you, desperate to connect with you, but utterly aware of my unworthiness even to touch your feet. But I make bold to do it because your love compels me to be brave.”

It would be very counter-cultural to grovel like this! To acknowledge a God who is the supreme authority and the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong, what is true and not true. To say, “Whatever you will, I will do,” clashes with our sense of independence and self-determination. Over time, a distorted idea of “freedom” has become a kind of American religion. 

Even for those of us who acknowledge that there is a God and proclaim Christ as King, we sometimes don’t perceive how much like the Pharisee in this Gospel story we are. We might invite Christ into our home, but we are always watching him to make sure he behaves as he ought. As long as Jesus stays in his proper place, we will gladly serve him and further his Kingdom. Wait….what? 

We must constantly reassess out attitude toward God and toward Christ. One exercise we can do to remind ourselves of who we are and who Christ is, is modeled in this Gospel reading. We can literally get down on the floor and figuratively kiss the feet of Jesus. It is so healthy (and Catholic) to use the bodies that God has given us to demonstrate our love and devotion to him and our sorrow for our sins. 

How readily we can forget the reverence and the obedience that is due to Christ! We are his beloved, but we are also his servants. I thank God for the woman in this Gospel reading who reminds us WHO CHRIST IS… He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are the sinners. His laws are perfectly just and one day, we will stand before his judgment throne.

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Christine Hanus is a thwarted idealist who, nevertheless, lives quite happily in Upstate NY. She is a wife and mother of five grown children.

Feature Image Credit: Duane Mendes, https://www.pexels.com/photo/grayscale-photo-of-man-in-robe-8763798/