Monday, April 6, 2020

Lenten Reflections, Day Forty one, Monday of Holy Week, Love or Money?

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Day Forty one, Monday of Holy Week
Love or money?

John 12: 1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “ Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” ( He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

The plot thickens as Judas has issues with Mary doing nice things for Jesus and now the Chief Priests want to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus because Lazarus’ life is a sign of Jesus’ good works and because of these good works people believed in HIm.

Isn’t that often the case that when people do good things for others, there are always some people who resent it whether they are jealous, envious, competitive, and/or fearful that they are losing control and dominance.

When people do good things, there will always be people who want to shoot them down, but you should do good things anyway.

Jesus is demonstrating to Judas that love is more important than social activism. Paul has told us that social activism without love are dead works.

Does Mary know that Jesus is going to die and she is giving Him an early send off anointing HIs Body with fragrant oils? This is one of those stories where the reader or listener can read all kinds of things into it. Are you on the side of Judas or the side of Mary? How would you like to be in Lazarus’ position?

At this time of Lent we are reminded to renounce the things of the ego and to pursue the things of the Spirit. Simply put, what is more important: love or money?

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