Meditation for the Day

Monday, April 15

May the Love Which We Freely Give from Our Heart and Soul Become a Love Without Constraints, a Love Which is Open and Selfless, a Love Which is Pure and Beautiful in the Eyes of Almighty God.

We hear Jesus speaking in today’s Gospel, “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.”

Our Holy Week pilgrimage brings us today to the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. While at supper, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with a jar of precious oil. Judas sees it as a waste of money. Jesus sees it as a prophetic act.

This contrast which we see between Judas and Mary is important. Judas set a price on Jesus’ life – 30 pieces of silver. And from this betrayal, Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to a piece of wood. Mary, however, spares no expense! She anoints and blesses our Lord’s feet, almost as though in anticipation of the violence that would be done to Him, and the duty she would be unable to fulfill at our Lord’s burial.

Mary does all of this from the depths of her heart out of sincere love. She took the most precious thing she had and spent it all on Jesus. What was considered by Judas to be extravagant and unnecessary, Mary believed differently. Her mind and her actions were motivated by one thing and one thing only – namely, her love for Jesus and her gratitude for God’s Mercy in raising her brother Lazarus from the dead.

However, Mary did something a Jewish woman would never do in public. She had loosened her hair and, after having anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, dried them with it. In the culture in which our Lord lived, for a Jewish woman to loosen her hair in public was considered a sign of grave immodesty.

Yet, Mary was oblivious to all around her, except for Jesus. She took no thought for what others would think, but only what would please her Lord. In humility, she focused on the One Person who would truly make a lasting and eternal difference in her life.

As you and I reflect upon this setting, painted for us by Saint John in his Gospel, how do WE anoint our Lord’s feet and show Him OUR love and gratitude?

In her heart, Mary saw in Jesus a gentleness, a Divine Light which illumines the darkness, a Light which drives away the shadows and despair which envelops the hearts of so many of God’s children.

And Mary’s feelings echo the words of today’s psalmist, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”

And we hear about this gentle servant, this Light to the nations, in our First Reading today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Today, we are presented with the first of four Servant-of-the-Lord oracles from God’s words to Isaiah. It speaks to us about the coming of a gentle servant –

“…my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my Spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations…A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, Until he establishes justice on the earth” – a Servant who will bring justice to the peoples and the nations of the world, and who will establish a New Covenant and be as “a light for the nations.”

As you and I walk with Christ this week, as He journeys ever closer to His ascent towards Calvary, how do we imitate Mary’s love? And in our daily lives, how do we imitate the Love which God has shown for each of us?

Saint Augustine once said that “the measure of love is to love without measure.” It is a selfless love, a love which places the needs of others before our own. It is a love which we find in the heart of Mary in today’s Gospel. It is the Eternal Love which we find lived out on Calvary for each one of us.

As we read in the Book of Isaiah today, God’s Love will “…open the eyes of the blind…those who live in darkness.”

May what Mary had done open our eyes to the sweetness of her act – not only in the physical sense, but most especially the spiritual. For her act of humility, and the selfless expression of her love, shows the greatness of affection and devotion which should also be ours – a love which we should be emulating in our daily lives, a love for both God and neighbor.

May the love which we freely give from our heart and soul become a love without constraints, a love which is open and selfless, a love which is pure and beautiful in the eyes of God – a love which is truly in imitation of Jesus’ selfless Love which He gives to each of us, a Love which He ultimately gave from the Cross on Calvary for both you and me.

“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”

In this Love, we truly find our enduring faith and everlasting hope! †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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.’(John 12:7-8)
  • “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
  • “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my Spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations…A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, Until he establishes justice on the earth” (Isaiah 42:1, 3-4a)
  • “I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6c-7)
  • “I will lead the blind on a way they do not know; by paths they do not know I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight. These are my promises: I made them and I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
  • “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
  • “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:12, 14)
  • “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

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Prayer for the Day

“Ah, Lord God, my Holy Lover,

when You come into my heart,

all that is within me will rejoice.

“You are my glory and the exultation of my heart.

You are my hope and refuge in the day of my tribulation.

But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect,

I must be strengthened and comforted by You.

“Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline.

Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart

of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within,

I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.”

Thomas A’ Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)

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