Thursday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The inner healing
A Pharisee invited him to dine with him …. Now there was a sinful woman in the city …. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee …. saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” …. 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.” Lk 7,36-50
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace” is the end of the passage of the today gospel and of all the miracles which Jesus did in the three years of his public life. For him, the salvation is a global healing: of the body, of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit of a person. In many of the miracles performed by Jesus, all these healings, as in the case of the man who was born blind, take place simultaneously; other times, as in the case of the prostitute of today, the healing of the body, because it is not needed, is missing. Indeed, one can say that the healing of the spirit, of the heart and of the mind always coexist, that one of the body may not even be there. We are facing, in this case, with an inner healing, which is that one which is most needed today, because the disease of the psyche is the most widespread. In the healing of this prostitute it seems that the woman is the most acting person and that Jesus is merely recording what she has already accomplished. In fact, this woman does a lot, but not all, because the completeness of his recovery is received by Jesus, when he says: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”. When Jesus pronounces this sentence, the “salvation” and the “peace” of the heart and of the mind take place, because it is a command, by the same way when, in the resurrection of Lazarus, he pronounced “Lazarus, come out!”. It is a grace of God, as the woman of the today gospel, to have the awareness of our personal sins. When the priest says “I absolve you from your sins, go in peace” it is as Jesus says this and at that moment we are healed. Give us, Lord, the humility and the faith to get closer with high frequency to the sacrament of the confession.