Conversion in the spiritual life is when life takes a turn for the better. The Christian life is a life of conversion, whether we have turned away from a life far from God and full or sin, or have been lifelong believers who received deeper understanding of who God is and all he’s done for us. A life of conversion means life will constantly be taking turns for the better, not necessarily in the area of material things, health, etc., but in a holy life with God in Christ that blooms, little by little, into eternal life.
In today’s Gospel we see a contrast between a converted sinner–the sinful woman–and someone who is observant, but is not living much of a spirit of conversion–Simon the Pharisee, as is reflected in how coldly he treats people, as if he is doing them a favor of tolerating their flawed existence. Conversion leads to charity: love for God and love for others. The “sinful” woman is abounding in it after a life of things she thought were loving, but were simply sin. She is experiencing a strong moment of conversion and Our Lord is the means through which she shows her appreciation to God. It’s not just because Our Lord was nice to her when everyone else was not; in his own words, it is her faith that has led to her conversion and the gift of forgiveness.
Conversion is a journey; we never forget where we’ve been, and, God-willing, we never forget where we’re headed. Let’s examine all the turns for the better Our Lord has granted us in our life, turns for the better in the true sense of the word: turns toward God and away from sin. If we’ve been blessed with a good life, let’s thank him. If we’ve been freed from a life of sin, let’s thank him even more. Wherever our starting point, he has been with us every step of the way and deserves our love and thanks.
Readings: 1 Timothy 4:12–16; Psalm 111:7–10; Luke 7:36–50.