Daily Reflection – 4/6/2020
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” [The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him. ( John 12:1-11)
Does love have a price? I believe most of us would say “ Of course not.” And that is at the heart of today’s passage from scripture.
Just a few days from His crucifixion, Jesus enjoys a respite with people He loved. In the midst of it, Mary comes forward from her room with a clay jar, filled with a costly ointment. She breaks open the jar, pours it on the feet of Jesus and wipes her Lord’s feet with her hair.
Mary brought sweetness not only in the physical sense, but the spiritual sense as well. Her lovely deed shows the extravagance of love — a love that we cannot outmatch. The Lord Jesus showed us the extravagance of his love in giving the best he had by pouring out his own blood for us and by anointing us with his Holy Spirit.
It was Mary’s experience of the great love of Jesus for her that gave her such love in her heart for him. In that is part of our tale.
The people who love Jesus most are those who experience his love for them most. Sometimes it is born from joy and sometimes it is born from tragedy. Regardless of the source, love for Jesus comes from a deep perception of the wonder of the person of Jesus as our God and creator, from the perception of the greatness of our need, and the greatness of the sacrifice Jesus made for us in dying for us on the cross.
The other side of this beautiful scripture is the reaction of Jesus. Jesus let this woman express her extravagant love by receiving her gift. We need to learn to be more open to the love of others especially outside of our own families. Those that love Christ will always have a generosity of spirit and we also need to have a generosity of receiving. As we enter Holy Week, there is a simple truth at its very core.: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Let us also remember that Christian faith without passion, without giving, without extravagance, is a pretty dull thing. Jesus gave himself lavishly, generously, completely for the sake of the world. Let us dwell in that gift and commit ourselves to lives that are given wholly to his service.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, may I follow the example of this holy woman, Mary. Help me to humble myself before You and honor You with my whole life. Dear Lord, nothing in life is more important than You and my total adoration of You. Draw me in, dear Lord, humble me before Your glory and help me to love and worship You with my whole being. Jesus, I trust in You.”
We learn from this scripture the important truth that we cannot love Jesus too much, and nothing is too great or too costly to do or give for him. It also tells us that love for Jesus is the great motivation for service for Jesus. Love for Jesus is that which causes us to live for Jesus, and the greater our love, the more ready we will be to give our lives for him.