10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Louise Crossley (No. 97)
Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment.
Then Judas Iscariot -- one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him-said, 'Why was this ointment 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 was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contents.
So Jesus said, 'Leave her alone; let her keep it for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.'
Meanwhile a large number of Jews heard that he was there and came not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well, since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus. (John 12:1-11)
Jesus’ anointing at Bethany questions the reverence of extravagance. Is it necessary to go above the call of need to demonstrate that which is in a heart?
The movement: 'I'll ride with you', comes to mind as a symbol of why we should say ‘yes’ it is necessary. Following the gunman holding hostages in Sydney cafe last December, Muslims became targets for abuse, again.
Soon after the incident, resident, Rachel Jacobs, saw a Muslim woman take off her hijab to get on a train. Jacobs ran after her and told her to put it back on. ‘I’ll walk with you’, she said.
That experience initiated a Facebook/Twitter frenzy of posts; ones similar to Sir Tessa’s Tweet: ‘If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/Martin pl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone, I’ll ride with you @ me for schedule. That led to many people offering to ride with Muslims when they travelled, hence the term ‘I’ll Ride with you’.
Sure, a less public support could have been offered, and Jacobs could have been less extravagant in her approach to show that she cares. But, that would have limited the impact.
Maybe extravagance is the key to capture the over stimulated, highly active, somewhat desensitized modern heart. By extravagantly being kind and demonstrating virtues, we Christians may make a much needed change.
How extraordinary to think that something Jesus himself experienced and appreciated all those years ago, is perhaps more significant in its message today than it was when it actually took place.
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Next Reflection: Malcolm Davies, 2015.
First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-41
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested Mark 14: 43-46
Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin Luke 22:66-71
Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter Matthew 26:69-75
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate Mark 15:1-5,15
Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns John 19:1-3
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross John 19:6,15-17
Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross Mark 15:21
Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem Luke 23:27-31
Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified Luke 23:33-34
Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief Luke 23:39-43
Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple John 19:25-27
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross Luke 23:44-46
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb Matthew 27:57-60