Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

16 June 2013

I Have Something To Say To You

Lieutenant General David Morrison of the Australian Army had something to say about the improper conduct of some male soldiers toward some female soldiers. Exploitation and degradation have "no place in this Army.... Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of our Army and the environment in which we work."

Jesus had something to say to Simon and fellow Pharisees who interiorly determined (i.e., "judged") the sinfulness of a woman who showed Him reverence. At first, He said it in the form of a parable, one of His familiar modes of speaking, which He often used as a ruse. Here, by leading His listeners to  conclude that someone deeper in debt might show Him deeper reverence--as that woman was doing--He was also revealing the Pharisees' pusillanimity and ingratitude.

Our Lord followed the prophetic path of Nathan, whom God directed to convict King David of his adulterous and murdering machinations. This weekend we do not get to hear the beginning of this exposé, a parable of a farmer who raises a lamb from her birth only to be callously deprived of that lamb by a visitor who needs to make a meal for his own guests. Nathan deflected David's misdirected wrath as it were by pointing a mirror to him, with a phrase considered a compliment in our time: "You are the man!"

While David famously repented of his treachery, we do not know how Simon and his fellow Pharisees fared. It's just like the "rest of the story" behind the Prodigal Son: did the elder son enter the feast? This much of the story we know: Jesus forgave the woman of lavish love, and the guilty bystanders had nothing to be forgiven of, as far as they could tell.

I wonder whether the lecherous Australian soldiers are admitting their wrongdoing. If it came to the point where I needed a general to set me straight, I hope that would serve as an adequate stimulus for personal change. Maybe I'd need to take his advice: if I'm not willing to change, I'd have to find me another line of work that would suit me better.

God save us from such spiritual and mental constriction!

No comments:

Post a Comment