Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Download PDF

Lectionary: 93
Read the Gospel: Luke 7:36—8:3

Gospel Summary
There is no doubt that Simon, the Pharisee, prided himself in his religion. He followed the laws and thought himself a very devout person. Therefore, it bothered him that such a sinful woman would join the dinner in his home. It especially annoyed him that his guest, Jesus, allowed her to stay and even treated her with respect. Of course the woman knew rejection at the hands people like Simon who thought they were better than she was, but Jesus forgave her her sins because she was so sincere in her belief.

To explain his action, Jesus told Simon a parable about two people who owed large sums of money. One person, however, owed ten times the amount of the other. Jesus asked the Pharisee which debtor would be more grateful for the forgiveness. Naturally he replied that the person with the greater debt would be happiest. Jesus said so it was true for the person with the greatest sin. At that he turned to the woman, forgave her, and told her to go in peace.

Reflection for Families
The woman in today's Gospel was really sorry for her sins. She knew that she had sinned greatly. She wanted to see Jesus to tell him how sorry she was. On the other hand, the Pharisee didn't think he had sinned very much. Matter of fact, he didn't even treat Jesus with common hospitality indicating that he didn't really have much faith in Jesus' message. Like the woman, our tears can be cleansing. Can you remember a time when forgiveness felt good? Maybe you forgave someone or perhaps another person forgave you. One or both of you may have cried. It is through our faith in God and in each other that we can be healed and move toward the Kingdom.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
On one paper plate, draw a smiling face. On another plate, draw a frowning face. Go around the table asking each person to hold both plates. Looking at the frowning plate, think of a time when you hurt someone or someone hurt you. You might share a story about someone at the table, or it might be someone apart from your family. Holding the smiling face, recall how the hurt was resolved. Or if it hasn't been resolved, how might it be. Other people at the table may share ideas and impressions. After everyone has had a chance to share a story, think about how your family's experiences are similar to those of the sinful woman. How does forgiveness help bring peace in our lives?

Discussion Starters
1. When people think they are better than I am, I feel ...
2. One person who always loves me just the way I am is ...
3. Once someone forgave me for hurting him/her. I felt ...