“Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:16, 19-21

It seems that St. Paul is setting high standards for us today. Not high perhaps, but ones that are natural for us who have been baptized. They might seem high because our culture has lowered her standards. Christ sets us up to be natural and declare what we have always been: “It is now no longer I who live, Christ lives in me.” This reality tests us everyday. Is everything I do, everything I think, or say, done in God?

It is not easy to evaluate our lives in Christ. Every time we examine our conscience, we can see downfalls but also accomplishments to completing God’s Will for us.

Today’s Gospel gives us hope! It reminds us of a sinner who puts herself at the feet of Jesus. She is humbled before the Pharisees; yet, she washes His feet, a dirty business for sure.

What is God trying to say? The Pharisee expects Jesus to turn the woman away but instead he offers her forgiveness and reconciliation. She refuses any longer to allow her sins to define who she is. She allows herself to be welcomed by her Lord who tells her to ‘live by faith.’

God is teaching us not to be defined by our sins but rather to let them go and allow Him to welcome us back into His life. We can do this if we accept true love, not human love. True love is giving your self away completely for the sake of another and, at the same time, accepting the unconditional love of God. For ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.’

Do not be afraid to surrender to the love of God and to accept His forgiveness and offer of reconciliation.