By JENNIFER BURGIN
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
About ten years ago, on my way to work, I got stuck in traffic on a feeder road toward the interstate. Two stop lights emerged one after the other. Not realizing, I ran through the first red light because my eyes focused on the second green light. As I waited to cross the intersection, I heard a tap, tap, tap on my driver's side window. Two bicycle cops stood next to my car while a third officer carried a radar gun. I rolled down the window. "Is there a problem, officers?" I asked calmly. One of the officers replied: "Ma'am, you just ran that stop light back there. We need for you to pull over out of traffic." I was like, "What the....? Are you kidding me?" I fumed in anger. Here I could hardly move my vehicle in this traffic mess, and I get pulled over by bicycle patrol. How ridiculous! I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I blasted my horn (repeatedly) while shouting out profanities (not very lady-like!) Two of the cops laughed at my spectacle while the other one remained serious. "Ma'am, if you don't calm down we'll take you over to the jail. It's only on the other side of this street." Uh oh.....Let's just say I reversed the bad attitude, apologized, and accepted the ticket with a "Have a nice day." I was late to work carrying in my wallet a hefty $200 traffic citation.
Shortly after the incident with the cops, I went to confession. I humbly asked for the Lord's forgiveness. My mother always warned me that if I ever ended up in jail she would never bail me out. This run-in with the bicycle cops forever stamped mom's warning into my stubborn brain.
Police vs. God's Radar We are all sinners, like it or not. We make errors, blunders, and mistakes. God's radar detector is aimed at us 24/7. It's not the same as a police officer's radar gun ready to pull us over and slap us with a fine for speeding. God's radar is like a heavenly telescope watching our every move, ready to assist us at any moment. He knows when we've done things wrong , giving us the opportunity to seek forgiveness. We should realize His presence and pray, pray, pray. When a situation occurs out of our control, we know that God is in control. Bad circumstances do not last forever.
Pharisee vs. Sinful Woman In today's gospel reading, the Pharisee is critical of the sinful woman washing Jesus' feet with her hair. What a disgraceful act. Does Our Lord not know what kind of woman she is? Jesus knows precisely who she is! In fact, Jesus appreciates her great humility. The feet can be a smelly, and dirty part of the body, especially after walking around in the desert; yet, the sinful woman bathes them with her tears. The odor doesn't bother her. She doesn't mind the dirt. All she wants is to show how much she loves Jesus. A simple, loving touch from a sinner is all Our Lord needs to pour out his graces.
Have you been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a while? Maybe it's time to make an appointment with a priest. Remember that God's radar is always keeping an eye on us - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take the opportunity to seek out forgiveness. It will strengthen and encourage you!
"Oh Lord, you search me and you know me, you know my resting and my rising you discern my purpose from afar. You mark when I walk or lie down, all my ways lie open to you...." - Psalm 139
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please visit her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality