But Do You Love Me ?

Daily Reflection – 4/3/2023

Sacred Scripture

 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)


Today’s Scripture is a love story.

Jesus, just a short while from his final moments, goes to visit people he loved.  Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead, and Mary and Martha. It was a time of rest and a time for his friends to experience His love.

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. 

Mary has the prophetic insight of realizing that Jesus will be dead soon.  Because she also knows that he is the royal Messiah or “anointed one,” she gives him a lavish anointing.  The narrator says that the fragrance from the oil filled the whole house. 

That scene of a room quietly enjoining the very presence of love in Jesus Christ can and should be extrapolated to the world today.

Mary showed our Lord how much she loved Him. She even ignored the social mores of her time and unloosed her hair to dry His feet. She was solely focused on love itself.

No one of us can physically recreate that scene. But we are asked to recreate that love.

One person will go through the most hideous of deaths to save humankind. One person will undergo torture and pain that defies description so that our passing will only mark the death of our mortal self. One person will undergo anguish and despair so that we never will know its depth.

One person asks us in these days before His death – Do You Love Me?

Do you love me enough to give me your life? To trust me that I am always there with you. To walk away from the bitterness and divide that surrounds us and return to be both loving and loved? To walk away from the occasions of sin and to live in faith and love to me?

Do you love me enough to live me?

Truly live me, not for show, not to impress others with false piety, but to live me because you know that is how you show your love for me.

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.

As we enter this solemn 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 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.”

Daily Note

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.

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