“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, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.”
Six days before his crucifixion, Christ sat among friends as Martha prepared a meal and Mary anointed and washed his feet. They did not know what was coming but Jesus did. Despite this, he enjoyed their company and even gave them a lesson in Mary’s humility and the importance of being present.
The world around us is rife with stress, anxiety, worry, busyness. We fill ourselves with so much of what the world offers that we struggle to make time for Christ. We fill the gaps and the holes in our life with more things, more events – then we wonder why that empty, purposeless feeling lingers. We find ourselves in the company of friends at parties, dinners, even bible studies consumed with worry, forgetting to be present in the moment. But on this Holy Monday, we take a moment to pause, breathe the breath that God has given us, and reflect on what is to come.
God wants to work in us, to empower us to know that despite the distractions this world throws our way, despite the looming darkness that we may sense at times, there is restoration and healing and light to be experienced in the highs and the lows of Holy Week, if only we be present in the moment. As you go about your busy week, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to pause, breathe and offer this simple prayer:
Lord, thank you for this time that you have given me.
Make me present with these people that I might see
you in them and that they might see you in me.
Focus my thoughts on the redemption of the cross
and the promise of an empty tomb. Amen.