Monday, April 18, 2011

A study in opposites

How do the truly powerful behave?

In the readings today we are given two contrasting images.
In the gospel we have Judas, complaining that the perfume used on the feet of Jesus should have been sold for 300 days wages, while John makes it clear that Judas's real motivation had nothing to do with caring for the poor. In addition we have the Pharisees, fearful that they are loosing sway over the people plotting not only the death of Jesus but the death of Lazarus as well. Greed and envy and fear of lose of money, position, and power seem to be the driving forces.

In contrast we have the reading from Isaiah, a prophet reference to Christ, describing how the truly powerful one will come.

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

What are the internal forces that drive us this day?
Fear, anxiety, envy, greed...
Or a sense of true peace and interior stillness that comes from union with the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.