Jesus, out of sincere compassion and love, raises Lazarus from death to life. You can imagine the joy as Lazarus, Mary and Martha meet with Jesus and his disciples moments later. Martha, ever the dutiful servant, provides their meal. Mary, kneeling at Jesus’ feet, anoints him with strong expensive perfume. Even as they meet, numerous people plot Jesus’ end. Judas ready to betray. But why? Lazarus’ raising from the dead signals the new life that is on the horizon, the new life found in Jesus. But it threatens the status quo, the good order, the control of the religious elite. The desire to protect how things are and hold onto power meant they missed the bigger picture of what God was doing. They couldn’t see the new life that Jesus was offering. Mary in her lavish act, one which many struggle to understand, saw the depth of what God was doing. Her total focus was on Jesus and committing herself to his will, however hard it was to accept the journey that Jesus was about to take. The question is, when faced with opportunities for new life, are we like Mary ready to devote ourselves to God’s will? Or do we cling to the status quo, ready to hunt out and stop anything that threatens our control, challenges the good order or goes against our desires of how things should be?
God of new life,
When we find it difficult to let go or to move forward,
When we cling to what we’ve known, rather than you,
hold us close,
When we feel threatened by changes and opportunities for new life,
give us wisdom.
Help us to be more like Mary, accepting your will in full adoration,
and less like the religious elite, stifling the radical work of God.
Loved and cherished by you, we pray,