Voices ever ancient, ever new. Thursday-Week24-2013.

“Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” (Luke 7:44)

In commenting on this verse from the Gospel according to Saint Luke from today’s Mass Readings, Saint Peter Chrysologus writes:

“With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach his kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips, and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until he will turn her. This means that he will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.” When will he speak these words? He will speak them when he will come in the majesty of his Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry, and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members what you refused to your Creator. Then he will say to the church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much. (Sermon 95)”