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At His Feet
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 "At His Feet: Tears and Ointment"

 

"As long as man continues to live unreflectively and superficially, he will not feel the need to cry out in tears and in a constant yearning for repentance."

(Listen Prophets. George Maloney, S.J.; pp. 47-48)

 

          The most amazing things can happen at the "feet of Jesus":

 

"Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them."

(Mt. 15:30)

 

"At his feet" we learn to beg, to plead, to intercede for those whom we hold in our hearts:

 

"Jairus came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the point of death…" (Mk. 5:22-23); and, "Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet…and she begged him…(Mk. 7:25,26).

 

"At his feet"--at "the lowest place" (Luke. 14:10)-- in sincere humility of heart, we also learn to weep for our sins and those of the whole world:

 

"Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment" (Luke. 7:37-38).

 

At the feet of Jesus we are in the presence of pure Love, Truth, and Holiness: We are in the Presence of God. Sin takes place in the context of a relationship; for, sin is the betrayal of a sacred trust. So too, authentic compunction, repentance, contrition and reconciliation take place in the context of a relationship:

 

"Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God."

(Joel. 2:12-13)

 

          Through heart-felt repentance at the "feet of Jesus" we experience a "home coming": Here, we experience re-union and re-orientation. We experience "Incarnation-al clarity": We begin to see more clearly whom Jesus really is--Son of God, Savior, Saving Love and Mercy; we see whom we are in our true identity; and we are inspired to pray and to weep for others: To "weep with those who weep" (Rom. 12:15); and, to "sow in tears" (Ps. 126:5).  At his feet we experience forgiveness and freedom, and we are awakened with a new desire to pray for--to weep for--others, that they, too, can experience this same "fragrant freedom" in their lives.

 

          Like the sinful woman in St. Luke's Gospel, we must come to the "feet of Jesus" with our "tears and ointment": Tears of repentance and ointment of sacrificial love. "At his feet" we experience unconditional acceptance and absolution. Hence, we learn to identify with--to have a heart for--others who are bound up in their own sinful attitudes and choices: "At his feet" we learn compassion for others, and experience re-integration with God, self, and humanity. "At his feet", the Spirit-led grace of heart-felt repentance releases the "real me"--my true heart: The forgiven child of God. When we wash Jesus' feet with our "tears and ointment" in sincere sorrow, we can then go forth to "wash the feet of others" (see John. 13: 4-5) through intercessory prayer.

 

          "At his feet" we learn how to "take a stand" in intercessory prayer for the salvation of souls. A repentant heart is heard in the presence of the Father who, in the inner room of our hearts, sees in secret: "I will weep in secret many tears; my eyes will run with tears for the LORD'S flock" (Jr. 13:17).

 

          Jesus, who is without sin, learned how to weep for the sins of the world:

 

"In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his reverence."

(Heb. 5:7)

 

And, to weep for his own people:

 

"As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace."

(Luke. 19:41-42)

 

For us, reverence comes as a fruit of a deep, heart-felt repentance. "Jesus learned how to beg forgiveness of the Father for the ignorance of [humanity]" (Listen Prophets. George Maloney, S.J.; p. 52): "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" (Luke. 23:34).

 

          Forgiven and free, we must seek "to remain in a state of weeping before the Lord, begging pardon for [our] sins and those of the rest of the human race"(Listen Prophets, p.50). Who will kneel before God for our nation, plead for his pardon, mourn for the immoral misdeeds and misery of our day--the iniquity of our age--and cry out for the conversion of our country? Who will fall "at his feet", wail over the wickedness in our world--travail over the transgressions of our times--with co-redemptive tears?

 

Questions:

1) Is heart-felt repentance a part of my prayer on a regular basis?

2) Lord, teach me how to pray for my nation, and for our world.

 

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the teaching text; Jr. 14:7; Mt. 5:4; John. 16: 20

 

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-SEVEN, TIME TO STORM HEAVEN"

 

 

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