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March 21, 2016

Monday of Holy Week

The good news for the Day

Six days before the Passover celebration, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived—the man Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner party for him there. Martha acted as hostess, while Lazarus was one of the people sharing the meal with him. Mary took a bottle of costly fragrant oil made from a very expensive perfume—nard—and with it massaged Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair. (The house filled with the aroma of the oil.) Then Judas the Iscariot, one of those learning from Him–the one who would betray him—said, “Why couldn’t this oil be sold for a whole year’s paychecks and given to the poor?”(John 12, 1-5)

This tale is fitting for us Americans. Many of us acknowledge that we value money over people. You and I do. We price—success, security, standing in the community, toys for the kids, freedom to enjoy life in terms money.

Give money to the poor, yes, but we think that is the end of it—our tax-deductible benefit to needy people. “They” live somewhere else, and it is their responsibility to be responsible for themselves. We find a thousand small and large ways in which we reduce helping others to cash. What Judas says seems sensible to an American—Why not?

Maybe—just maybe—during Holy Week, you and I can re-evaluate some aspect of Jesus—some way of thinking that lies hidden from our heart.

Love means more than money and caring is weightier than cash. What you do to—and for—others adds to their heart-lives—their inner lives, their peace, strength, forgiving attitude and kindness. It is the Good News reaching into their lives. Don’t forget the shirt for their backs—but a visit may mean more. You are to love, not just contribute. It may be very hard to realize your mistake, to acknowledge it and change. We easily self-satisfy with our good, but check. Do you see people as “you” and not as “them”?

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