Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 5th Week in Lent: Year 1
“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?” (John 12:1 to 5)
I chose this option of the Gospel reading for today because it also recalls the raising of Lazarus from the dead which is the other option. But it goes on further. In this house in Bethany we have Judas Iscariot taking his eyes off of Jesus to look at Mary. When he does, he quickly goes to contempt for her and, according to the Evangelist John, greed for money.
This happens to us today if we look at family, friends or even strangers without looking at them through Jesus. We will acquire contempt or envy or jealousy or even hatred for them especially the stranger. My brothers and sisters in Christ, we must try hard to see all others through the eyes of our Lord Jesus. When we do, we shower them with love. We will be open to listening to them, and listening will lead to a deeper loving of them, even the stranger.
This happened six days before the Passover, this was preparation for the Sabbath. Jesus is back into the home of his friends, Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha had also taken her eyes off Jesus to complain about her sister not helping with the hospitality work required for all the company who came with Jesus. “She [Martha], had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her;” (Luke 10:39 to 42). I believe this occurred at the same time, and in the same house as our John Gospel but seen from two different perspectives. This contempt happens to us too if we look away from our Lord Jesus to behold our family, our friends, and the stranger. Please, please, please, try as hard as you can to view the other through the eyes of our Lord Jesus.
For this evening and tomorrow day my friends; Shabbat Shalom
Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John