What causes us to love with a love that surpasses all other loves?
Profound gratitude for sure! No one who met Jesus could do so with indifference. They were either attracted to him or repelled by him. Why did a Pharisee invite Jesus to his house for dinner and then treat him discourteously by neglecting to give him the customary signs of respect and honor? The Pharisees shunned the company of public sinners and in so doing they neglected to give them the help they needed to find healing and wholeness. Why did a woman with a bad reputation approach Jesus and anoint him with her tears and costly perfume at the risk of ridicule and abuse by others? The woman's action was motivated by one thing, namely, her love for Jesus - she loved greatly out of gratitude for the kindness and forgiveness she had received from Jesus. She did something a Jewish woman would never do in public. She loosened her hair and anointed Jesus with her tears. This woman was oblivious to all around her, except for Jesus.
She also did something which only love can do. She took the most precious thing she had and spent it all on Jesus. Her love was not calculated but extravagant. In a spirit of humility and heart-felt repentance, she lavishly served the one who showed her the mercy and kindness of God. Jesus, in his customary fashion, never lost the opportunity to draw a lesson from such a deed. The stark contrast of attitudes between the Pharisee and the woman shows us how we can either accept or reject God's mercy and forgiveness. The Pharisee, who regarded himself as an upright person, did not feel any particular need for pardon and mercy. His self-sufficiency kept him from acknowledging his need for God's grace, his favor, and his mercy. Let us always be grateful for the grace and mercy that God shows to each one of us.I hope you have a good week!