Monday, April 14, 2014

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, 'What are we busy about?”

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”

Gospel Text: (JN 12:1-11)
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary 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.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

The story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus is one that has always intrigued me. Mary “gets it” – she understands the value of Christ in her life right there and then. We have other readings where Mary sits at his feet and allows herself to be completely present to Jesus and soaks in his words and the gift of him. She does not allow herself to be distracted or try to multi-task around him. Here as she pours her precious perfume on his feet, she conveys that she recognizes the value of Christ and that honoring him is more important than riches or anything else.

Whenever I read this passage, I have to reflect upon whether I am keeping “first things, first.” Do I allow the busyness of the world to overshadow what is most valuable to me and my salvation? Of course, there are commitments to be filled and work to be done (especially if we wish to be paid!). I am constantly challenged to keep my priorities in mind and to balance my life. It is so easy for me to be all consumed with the demands of work and my family responsibilities. I struggle at times and need to consciously remind myself of what is most important in the grand scheme of life.

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