“Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.”                                                            (Luke 7.39)

woman-jesus-feet THE PHARISEE sees the sin of the woman who bathes Jesus’ feet with her tears and with her worldly possessions and with her love. The One who has the Father in him and Who is himself in the Father sees the woman for who she truly is. The first is a professional religious leader, the second a person of God. The perceptions of the religious one are governed by the rules and precepts of a theo-philosophical structuralism pressed on him, studied, practiced and inculcated by him. Such a thing might well have sprung from initial authentic experience of the divine but between that experience and the Pharisee there are many intellectual lenses of human design. Jesus, on the other hand, lives each moment pure in a stream of divine consciousness.

The Pharisee cannot see through the lenses of his religion because he does not live in the stream. For sure, he prays. He is a professional prayer and no doubt an expert in making a show of it.  “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets”, says Jesus (Luke 20.46). Pharisees were required to pray three times a day with the formula, “Thank you God that I am a Jew and not a Gentile, that I am free and not a slave, that I am a man and not a woman.” If such formulae constitute one’s prayer life, then that can surely be really no prayer life at all!

Jesus looked at the woman at his feet with the eyes of God. Jesus’ consciousness was divine because he lived in its stream through contemplative prayer. St Paul, though a Pharisee, learned to do this. The earliest Christians did it. Contemplative prayer is simple and it is by God’s grace available to all, that we might look, and so help others to look, at the world with God’s eyes, with God’s heart.

“…we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ …I died to the law, so that I might live to God” (St Paul, Galatians 2.15-20)

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 8, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: