And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that He was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
The woman Jesus forgave was not crying merely because she was forgiven. She was crying because she was loved and because she loved in return. Legalism looks for ways to set some Cosmic Account Book back to zero after being seriously in debt. Love looks for relationship. In penance, forgiveness is always attach to the words "so that." We are forgiven so that we can resume our relationship with God, not merely in order to hit the reset button on the sin-o-meter and bring the count back to zero till the next time we sin. Forgiveness is the doorway into love and gratitude and friendship with God.
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