a dinner party is interupted.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gospel Lk 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.

Today I must type of yesterdays reading. It is the one here Mary Magdalene attends a dinner of the Pharisees. It is one where the Lord is the featured speaker. Think not of a contemporary dinner, people sitting at a table. This is from many years ago and a different culture. No movies, no televisions, no radio. The dinner then is a theatre of its own, and structurally more akin to a courthouse. There were rules for seating.. There is a bench for a prosecutor, and one for the defense. There is a court bench, of symbolic sorts at least, and a place for lawyers , and jurors. Then there is the peanut gallery, the place for Mary Magdalene . Mary though did not sit in that peanut gallery as she was determined to sit front and center . She entered the dinner court proper. Wow. She was no longer an innocent bystander but an instrument for the court, a witness if you will. Front row, front and center, the court revolved around her. And the Pharisee asked ” what is she doing there?” To Jesus she belonged. Mary was His key witness. She is the reason God entered into creation. She , to Jesus, is the legitimate center of the court. Not a bystander but a reason , she is the focus of the Christian mission and that is something new. That is something the Pharisees can not relate to. They do not understand the good news of the New Testament, though once Mary hears that word she is thrilled and anoints the Lord. Through Christ she gains dignity and her sins are forgiven. She is whole, and she is the center of Christ’s  mission. The simple story gives hint at how Jesus Christ changed the world, and it is simply explained in the seating order at a dinner party.

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