Monday, March 11 – Receiving

John 12:1-11

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?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

From In Wisdom’s Path by Jan L. Richardson

God of Ages,

To whom the hours

are nothing and everything:

 

May I know each moment

as a sacred guest

to be welcomed,

to be savored,

to be sent

with a blessing.

By week four of Lent, we have settled in.  We are in the thick of it, heavy with the emotions of this season, seeking help and companionship.  The scripture text this week, then, takes a surprising turn; instead of the temptation, terror, and grief of the weeks before, we are surprised by an opulent gift, full of generosity.  Jesus receives Mary’s gift—he does not chastise her, begrudging her the joy of caring for him, nor does he think that her gift is foolish.  He receives it.  It seems simple enough.  Doesn’t it?

How often do we deny those who wish to nurture us?  How often do we say no to our own need/wish to nurture our self?  Jesus can companion us as we allow ourselves to be nurtured.  We can imagine this story of Mary and Jesus as we enable ourselves to receive the blessings of each moment.  The message this week is to receive.  Let go.  Allow.  Release to the gift.

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