In John’s Gospel Jesus exhorts us to love one another as He has loved us. In today’s Gospel we learn about one of the reasons that we have to love God. Jesus is obviously moved by the affection of the woman who washes His feet with her tears, dries them with her air and then anoints them with perfume. It is quite clear that Jesus has done something for her for which she will be eternally grateful.

Jesus then proceeds to explain this rather extraordinary action of the woman with a parable about forgiveness. The bigger the debt that has been forgiven to us, the greater our gratitude will be to the one who has forgiven us. He finishes up the story by turning to the woman and publicly announcing that her sins are forgiven.

The woman obviously believed that Jesus could cleanse here heart and soul of her sins and thus wished to bless Him in some way. This leads her to perform the actions we spoke about earlier. As we reflect upon her actions, let us pray for the grace to realize that our sins are also forgiven when we present them to Jesus. The woman’s actions are a sign of her sorrow and willingness to change her life. Do we come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the same sort of contrition?

The forgiveness of our sins is one thing; the ongoing process of conversion – that is – getting rid of all of the sins in our life is another thing altogether. The first without the second is next to worthless. As Jesus says elsewhere in the Gospels, it would be paramount to exchanging one demon for a whole host of them if there is no desire and will to conversion of heart.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an incredible moment of grace for us. If we really take it up and live in the victory over sin that it pronounces in our lives we will be changed forever. Our lives will be renewed from within by the power of God’s love. We will be like a new person.

When was the last time that I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation? What are the things that I am doing in my life now to overcome the sins that trouble me the most?

Lord Jesus, help me to be inspired by the faith of the people in the Scriptures, the saints and those around me whom I admire. Help me to be inspired to surrender my life more deeply to you.