So many were the sinners who were received by Christ in such a nice way!
Apostle Peter abandoned Him but he understood his mistake, repented and shed rivers of tears, crying bitterly…He had his heart open and there entered the rays of self knowledge and repentance. And the Lord looked at him with mercy, encouraging him: `Even if you abandoned Me, when you come back, strengthen your brothers!` And he became the great apostle Peter. While Judas who betrayed Him had no humbleness and repentance, fell into despair and lost the game.
We have other persons in the life of Christ who were great sinners but by returning they were saved.
There is the prostitute who is presented by the Church in the first days of the Passion Week. What a beautiful repentance, what beauty! This woman who was was addicted to sins received the ray of light in her soul and knew her Saviour! Christ charmed her with the beauty of His mercy and with the eye of His love and she immediately ran to the myrrh seller and said:
`Give me the most expensive myrrh you have, the price doesn’t matter!`
`But its price is very high. You cannot buy it…`
`I can buy it because my repentance is retrieved. It would not matter for me at all how much it would cost Give me the myrrh quickly to go and anoint the One who absolved me of my sins and gave me back my purity. The One who stretched out His hand and I came out of my old self. I adore the Master!` and wiped them with her hair.
And she ran with the myrrh in her hands and fell before Him anointing His most holy feet and the Lord seeing her soul was gushing so much myrrh gave her courage addressing to the so called lovers of men who protested because of the money wasted on that myrrh:
`Leave this woman do what she likes. She came before My burial and anointed My body. This deed will be for her eternal memory.
Meaning that she was to become an example of repentance and return of the sinful man to Christ’s feet.
You see, Christ was not disgusted at all but received the myrrh of her repentance and love. Because behind the material myrrh was hidden the myrrh of repentance. This is what was received by Christ who told her: `Your sins, my daughter, are forgiven and loose. Go in peace since you don’t owe anything to God anymore!
Excerpt from The Art of Salvation – Archimandrite Ephrem Philotheos Evanghelismos Publishing