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Loving Jesus

by davesandel on April 2nd, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday of Holy Week

 John 12:1-3

Mary, sister of Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead, 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.
         Jesus wears sandals but no socks.  He walks miles almost every day, mostly on dusty paths.  His legs are strong, his feet are brown and weathered.  In the evening he is tired.  Tonight as the honored guest in the home of his friends, Jesus reclines to eat his meal.  He is surrounded by men.  Mary and Martha prepare the food.

Then Mary breaks several traditions and touches Jesus’ feet.  She pours a quart of perfumed oil on his feet.  The house instantly fills with the romantic, feminine, expensive fragrance.  Mary is silent.  Tears fall from her eyes.  And she leans down and begins to dry his feet with her hair.

No one is any longer interested in the meal.  This marvelous ritual of love has captivated them all.  Not everyone is pleased, of course; the perfume was valuable and these people were not rich.  But this is like Mary laying herself at Jesus’ feet.  She holds nothing back.  What is most valuable to her by far is hers to give to Jesus.

Jesus will not be here again.  Mary cannot know that … or perhaps she does.  Jesus certainly knows.  He must be picturing in his mind’s eye the events of the next week as he expects them to unfold.  “The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus says, “but you will not always have me.”

In Isaiah the Father speaks of his son: “He shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.”  Jesus only says, “You will not always have me with you,” and prepares for the confrontation in Jerusalem.

Oh Lord, you are so gentle with your children.  When I am a bruised reed, do not break me in my weakness.  When I am only a barely smoldering wick, do not quench my tiny remaining light.  I know that you will not.  You are trustworthy to us all.

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