Public Displays of Affection

How do you feel about PDAs?  First of all let me give you the definition from the Urban Dictionary: 

Public Displays of Affection, can be seen in the form of kissing, touching, groping, licking, nuzzling, cuddling, crossing hands into each other's opposite back pockets, etc. Usually spotted among new couples, frisky teenagers, and occasionally the "young at heart" (god help us).  A PDA is also a handheld computer of sorts - Personal Digital Assistant.

While you read through this week's Gospel I have a question for you to ponder.  Who is guilty of a PDA in this story?  

A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.  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 the ointment.  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner."  Jesus said to him in reply, "Simon, I have something to say to you."  "Tell me, teacher," he said.  "Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred day's wages and the other owed fifty.  Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.  Which of them will love him more?"  Simon said in reply, "The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."  He said to him, "You have judged rightly."

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment.  So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."  He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  The others at table said to themselves,  "Who is this who even forgives sins?"  But he said to the woman,  "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."  Luke 7:36-50

The sinful woman puts on an elaborate display of affection that causes quite the stir at Simon the Pharisee's dinner.  A little perspective.  The life of a Pharisee was as proper and rigid as any.  They lived according to a highly defined rule of law and unbending code of conduct that made it very easy to find wrong in others.  Even the slightest infraction was considered sinful and required elaborate cleansing rites for purification.  That is what makes the sinful woman's PDA so glaring in light of the culture of the Pharisees.  

But the sinful woman isn't the only one in this story exhibiting a PDA.  Jesus not only graciously accepts her affection but He also holds her up as a model of proper behavior.  He forgives her sins.  He offers her His peace as He sends her on her way with the assurance that her faith has saved her from her sins.  Jesus said and did all of this publicly to demonstrate His love for the woman.  Now that is a Public Display of Affection!  Come to think of it Jesus constantly displayed His love for others publicly.  When we really stop and think about it is there a greater public display of affection than the cross of Jesus Christ?!?  

For God so loved the world...

Because He loved us first we must demonstrate our love for Him.  Have you ever been guilty of a PDA for Jesus?