Home Easter Retreat: Day Two – Monday of Holy Week: “Obligation or Love, Slave or Family?”

Easter Retreat: Day Two – Monday of Holy Week: “Obligation or Love, Slave or Family?”

Read John 12:1 – 11

Who are we in God’s household? Are we servants or part of His family? Is our relationship with the Lord centred on obligation or on love? The story of Mary and the Alabaster Jar of Ointment gives us the right attitude to have during this holy week. She was again by Jesus’ feet not out of obligation but out of love. She had experienced being loved that all she could do was to reciprocate that love unhindered by propriety or religious decorum. Have you allowed yourself to experience God loving you?

There is another group of people in today’s gospel reading whose lives were controlled not by love but by obligation. These were the chief priests. Their crave for positions as protectors of sacred truth blinded them from the Truth. They were even plotting to kill Lazarus that Jesus had raised from the dead, because people were believing in Jesus. What Jesus said in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that “even if someone were to be raised from the dead, they still would not believe” is unfortunately true of the chief priests. God was too human and too ordinary in the person of Jesus for them to recognize Him.

During these days we will be coming to the feet of Jesus in confessions and in different liturgical ceremonies. Let us not come out of obligation but out of love. Let us not live as slaves or acquaintances in God’s household but as sons and daughters. Like Mary let us love the Lord who loves us even when we find it hard to love ourselves.

This Holy Week is about God loving us. Let’s us take some time out and be with the only person, God, that loves us more than we can possibly love ourselves. May God bless you all.

Author: Peter Chidolue, S.J.

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