Date: April 11
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/YearABC_RCL/HolyWk/HolyMon_RCL.html
Contributor: Lyn Lawyer
“Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii and the money given to the poor?”
Today’s Gospel presents an all too familiar dilemma; How best to worship and honor
God with our money. I find it odd that this issue is given to us at the begging of the
most somber week of the church year. It will be a quiet week of reflection and reliving
the story of Christ’s suffering commingled with the preparations for the greatest feast.
Do we celebrate with the banks of flowers, new clothes, fantastic music, big meal? Or
do we take that money and use it to help the poor and the refugees?
There are times when we simply must celebrate. At those moments we do spend cash
that could be used to help the poor, but our souls need to rejoice and honor God in the
best and most beautiful way possible. And that is as important as taking care of the
poor. In other words it is part of the balance of life and very appropriate.
When the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City was being built there was
much conversation around the expense of building such a thing as a Gothic Cathedral
when a simple church would do. And it was explained how the building was to the
glory of God and would be well used to tell the story of our faith. And indeed it has
been so used in many ways. One thing the builders did do which I thought a good
answer was to hire the local folks who had no jobs, taught them stone masonry and
paid them to help build the church. They struck a good balance between building to
the glory of God and helping the poor.
So I would like to suggest that this week we seek a balance in our priorities. Jesus
seems to imply that honoring him in a generous way is on a par with caring for the
poor. Don’t hold back on your Easter celebrations, while keeping those “always with
us” less fortunate folks in mind. How do we include them in the feast?