In John 12:1-11, Jesus paid a visit to the house of Mary and Martha. There, He ate with Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead.
At the dinner, Mary brought in a pound of a very costly ointment of pure nard. She anointed the feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ with the oil
After the anointing, she wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair, the house was full of the scent of the ointment.
When this was going on, Judas Iscariot began to criticise Mary with reasons that the three hundred denarii be given to the poor rather than to waste the money on Jesus. Hence, Jesus rebuked him to leave the matter alone because they always have the poor with them, but He will soon depart from them, so Mary is keeping the ointment for the day of His burial.
In this gospel, we can find the way we have to show that we love Jesus if we truly love Him. They are:
Our Love for Jesus must be Extravagant.
Extravagant means something excessive, high and going beyond what is expected. Mary’s attitude to Jesus was a sign of extravagant love. She doesn’t mind what it might cost her. In her life, we can see a woman who is willing to give Jesus all. Therefore, to love Jesus excessively involves the whole of our strength, mind, heart and soul. There is nothing that we can do for Lord that is a waste.
Our Love For Jesus must be Costly.
Our love for Jesus should not be cheap. We cannot love anyone more than we love Him. So, we cannot love Jesus but yet relegate him to the background. Hence, we cannot say we love Jesus but yet cannot spend a single time with Him.
Our love for Jesus should cost us our time, our pride, reputation and finance. We cannot say we love Jesus, but when it comes to the things we have to do for God, we turn our back on Him.
Our love for Jesus is not only in mere saying it or speaking it. It is shown in our words and actions. To love someone you have to sacrifice a lot for the person. Therefore, we cannot say we love Jesus, but we spend more time and resources on our friends than we do to the Lord.
Mary sacrifices her time, her reputation, her money and even the maintenance of her hair to show her love for the Lord.
Our Love for Jesus may Look Unreasonable.
In today’s reading, Mary’s attitude looks unreasonable in the face of the observers. Many people like Judas Iscariot began to criticize her. Other apostles as we see in Matthew 26 and Mark 14 criticized Mary too. But she did not pay attention to the criticisms.
Our love for the Lord needs to reach that extent when people may think you do not even know what you are doing. It must go beyond human appraisal and criticism. Our love for Jesus should come from the heart and should not be determined by people.
Sometimes some people who do not like how attached you are to God and the church may begin to criticize you and show you how foolish your actions are: do not lose hope or listen to them.
Hence, our love for Jesus may look foolish in the eyes of the people but admirable in the eyes of God. Everything that we do should be bound by God’s love.
You must Not be wealthy to prove Your Love for Jesus.
The ointment that Mary anointed Jesus with is of pure nard and very precious. The perfume is worth more than three hundred denarii as Judas complained.
This money as of that time is a year’s wage for a labourer, which is too extravagant. Hence, what Mary is teaching us is that whenever it comes to what you have to offer to God, do not begin to recount the cost.
So, You must not have the whole world before we do anything for God. Mary was not a rich woman, but she did that to show her love for Jesus. Therefore, the lesson here is; never to look back whenever you want to do anything for God.
In John 19:38-40, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus will use seventy-five pounds of mixtures of myrrh and aloes during the burial of Jesus (John 19:38-40), an anointing reserved only for a king.
Hence, It is to show how expensive the death of Jesus is and how we are going to reward Him back with such love.
Our Love For Jesus demands Our Humility.
In today’s gospel, Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with her hair. This attitude is one of the highest gestures of humility.
In the Jewish custom, the care of another person’s feet is a task reserved for the slaves and servants. Imagine a master who sits on His sofa with some servants cutting his nails and wiping his feet.
In John 13, Jesus wiped the feet of His disciples and instructed them to do the same, as a sign of humility and service.
So, to wipe the feet of Jesus is a shocking gesture from Mary, especially in a culture where women can never lay down their hair in the presence of any man whatsoever. Therefore, In the presence of God, we have to humble ourselves. We do not come to God’s presence to show how big we are. Always humble yourself before God.
May God help us to love Jesus willingly. May He always abide with You. Amen.
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