Suffering for others is the sacrifice of love we can offer to God

May the Lord give you grace and peace in the Holy Spirit. It is 03rd April 2023.  We

May the Lord give you grace and peace in the Holy Spirit.

It is 03rd April 2023.  We are on Monday of Holy Week.

We reflect on Isaiah 42:1-7 and John 12:1-11.

Actions speak louder than images and words. Are we altruistic or self-obsessed? Are we complainers or contributors?

Judas was one of those people who does not act in altruism and who lives in his own world.

Suffering for others is the sacrifice of love we can offer to God.

We are at the beginning of Holy week reflecting on the final moments of His journey before six days of His crucifixion.   Though many were antagonists and opposed Him, there were a handful of people who showed great kindness to Jesus.  There were six people we encounter: Lazarus, Martha, Mary, Judas, Jews, and Jesus. Whom do we want to be during this Holy Week?

The readings revolve around Jesus.  In the first reading, we are reflecting on the suffering servant of God pointing to Jesus.  We have the first song of the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.

It is a moment to participate in the pain of others.  Jesus is humble, peaceful, and not retaliating when faced with unjust treatment.  God assures Him with words of hope, encouragement, and blessings.  “I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Is.42:7).  God promises God’s support to the suffering servant to face it all.  We need to participate in the struggles of people.  We need to move away from being a spectator.

It is time to be near Jesus as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus who anointed the feet of Jesus, the expensive ointment.  Love never counts the cost.  Selfishness calculates and criticises the good actions of the other. “Never speak poorly of others,” says Holy Father Francis.

While there are many are plotting to get rid of Him, the gesture of anointing attracts condemnation from one of his disciples.  When we do something for Jesus, some people will criticise and condemn us.  Our doing good does not add anything to Jesus.

Our gesture brings blessings to us.  The way Jesus looks at what we do is different from how the materialistic and selfish world looks at us.

It is a day of decision.  Whether we want to be at the feet of Jesus or at the pleasures of money.  Mary chose to be near Jesus while Judas was near money.   She dared to show her love in public while Judas hid under the shelter of money behind his fake concern for the poor.  Mary’s hands and home were filled with the perfume of sacrifice while the heart of Judas was filled with the smell of money and malice.

It is indeed time to serve.  What Mary of Bethany did to Jesus, we are invited to do to one another.  Let us offer a kind, gentle and generous presence to others in a hostile neighbourhood.  May the Lord bless you to be near Jesus, to take a decision and be at the service of those in pain.

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