April 6, 2020 – Monday of the Holy Week
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040620.cfm)
Jesus was in the house of his friends, who were Lazarus, and his sisters, Mary and Martha. These three siblings invited Jesus for a celebration. They were celebrating to thank Jesus. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. As an act of thanksgiving, Lazarus invited Jesus for this celebration. It was in this way that Lazarus expressed his gratitude to Jesus. Meanwhile, his sisters, Martha expressed her gratitude to Jesus by making sure that there was food and drinks for Jesus and his disciples. It was Martha’s way of thanking Jesus. And also, Mary, who was so fond of Jesus, expressed her gratefulness as well as her affection by anointing the feet of Jesus with an expensive perfume. She spent that only for Jesus because she loved Jesus.
Thus, when a person grows to be grateful, the person also becomes more aware of the presence of God, the giver of blessings and gifts. Lazarus, Mary and Martha were people who have grown to be grateful to God that is why they also became more conscious of Jesus’ presence.
However, when we become ungrateful we also take for granted the giver of gifts, and thus, the presence of God in our life. This is what we find in the person of Judas. Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was an example of a person who was ungrateful. He had been with Jesus for the past three years but then he was not fully aware of who Jesus was. He physically encountered Jesus but then his ungrateful heart prevented him to recognize God in the person of Jesus.
This is the reason why Judas reacted so much when Mary poured expensive oil at Jesus’ feet. Judas reacted harshly! Judas was so bitter! He was not upset about the celebration or about the food and the drinks. You know why? Because he benefited from those. But, he complained about Mary because it was only for Jesus, nothing for him! Judas was not able to benefit from that perfume. That was the reason why he demanded that it should be sold. Judas was the treasurer of the group and if that perfume was sold, Judas will surely keep the money for himself and not for the poor. Because Judas was ungrateful, he was also corrupt.
This will also happen to us when we remain ungrateful and when we refuse to recognize that everything we have is a gift. When we become ungrateful persons, we also become self-entitled. We become demanding in our relationships. We become critical of those people around us. We are easily threatened when we are not praised and recognized. Yet, we will become stingy of our time and energy and ungenerous of our resources and presence to those who are asking for our help. And most of all, we become indifferent to people around us and indifferent to God, the source of all blessings.
Thus, God calls us today to be more grateful of the gifts and blessings that we have received each day, no matter how small would that be. But if we have received so much also, be more thankful and be more generous too. Remember, a grateful person is a person who goes forward, because when we are grateful we also become contented of the present, whatever there is. We also become reconciled with the past, whatever that was. And we become hopeful and positive of the future, whatever there will be. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR