The Beatitudes

The simple story of the woman who came unbidden to the house of Simon the Pharisee, and her self-forgetful tribute to the Master as he "sat at meat" amid the luxurious surroundings of Simon's dwelling, brings the inspiration of love, humility, and gratitude. The incident is rich in symbolism, and full of gentle admonition to the Christian Scientist, while the lesson conveyed is fraught with even sweeter meaning when considered in connection with the beatitudes. Viewed in this light the Oriental scene is tinted with a glow of sacred beauty.

The profound metaphysical truths set forth by Christ Jesus in the beatitudes were remarkably exemplified by this woman in her mental awakening to a spiritual sense of life as portrayed in the Bible narrative. She had been a woman of the city, a sinner, according to Luke. Perhaps she had seen the Nazarene as he went about doing good, and had heard the heavenly words that fell from his lips. We can almost hear her saying, "The sight of thee unveiled my sins, and turned my misnamed joys to sorrow" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 326). Heart-weary and sin-stained, she had perceived that the pleasures of the flesh are but bubbles upon the stream of mortal experience. In trembling shame she felt the spiritual poverty of her barren life, and became receptive to the glorified sense of spiritual being, and this mental state illustrates the first beatitude.

This woman's unsolicited—yea, even forbidden—entrance into the Pharisee's house, and her irrepressible desire to find the Master, indicate that she had caught a gleam of the spiritual consciousness of the real man, a perception so pure and unalloyed that in its presence vanished all belief of caste, social prestige, or class distinction. No sensitive thought of self (which is but a false sense of humility), no weight of self-condemnation, no fear of reproach, held her back from the presence of him who came to teach men how to find themselves in God's great plan. With eager joy she approached the Master, bearing the alabaster box of ointment,—a token of the purity of her motive and the newly-dawned spirit of consecration. The tears that fell upon his feet were tears of repentance, and they help us to understand the Master's words, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Already was Jesus' compassionate thought shedding upon her the hallowed benediction, "Thy sins are forgiven."

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Church Ushers
March 6, 1915

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