Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, priest and martyr; Paul Chong Ha-sang, martyr; and companions, martyrs
(I Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 7:36-50)
The Charismatic Renewal has received more than its rightful share of criticisms. Pastors sometimes want to suppress it or to keep it from gaining a foothold. They find its participants too emotional and insufficiently submissive to prayer norms and customs. Yet the movement is perhaps the most effective resource for evangelization in the Church today. Detractors might consider the message of today’s gospel before launching criticisms.
Of course, the narrative says nothing about charismatic prayer. Rather, it tells the story of an emotional woman showing gratitude to Jesus. She likely heard him preach of God’s mercy and came to the house of Simon, the Pharisee, to show her appreciation. She lavishes affection on Jesus which would appear extreme except, perhaps, at a Charismatic prayer meeting. To Simon she is giving added evidence of harlotry, but Jesus recognizes a show of genuine contrition. He forgives her all her sins while pointing out to Simon his complacencies.
We should see the Pharisees in the gospel as warnings that we do not criticize the ways of others to worship God. What may seem odd or eccentric to us may please the Lord as much as our rosaries and penances. Charismatics especially deserve our continual consideration as they both praise God regularly and bring others to the community. Truth be told, they are more likely than most to participate in join services to the needy.