THE ‘LET’ OF JESUS IN HOLY WEEK
Monday, March 29th
Read Mark 14:1-9.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me.
“Why was the ointment wasted in this way?” the disciples asked. While they were sharing a meal with Jesus, a grateful woman came to him with a jar of costly ointment, broke it open, and lovingly poured it on his head. Of course, some of those gathered around the table immediately questioned her extravagant actions! The ointment was expensive, and Jesus clearly wanted to help the poor and feed the hungry. The ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor. From what we know of Jesus’s life and teaching, I would ask the same question!
What might we learn from this short passage? First, Jesus tells his friends to let her alone, which reminds us that we are not to judge or criticize others. He goes on to say that she has performed a good service for him; she has anointed him ahead of time for his burial. In this, we are reminded to refrain from making assumptions and to be mindful that there is usually more to the story than we observe. Finally, even as Jesus held his deep concern for the poor, perhaps he knew that her need to serve him was the greater need in that moment. We are reminded that Jesus knows our greatest needs more than we do.
Today, our spiritual invitation is to Let her alone – but with a different perspective.
Let’s imagine that Jesus is telling us to let ourselves alone. We can be our toughest critics at times, can’t we? Yes, we are imperfect, often broken, but we are always beloved, just as this woman was. When we have failed in some way, we are invited to repent (in order to heal and grow), but we need not remain critical of ourselves. We can be grateful to be forgiven as we strive to do better. When we make mistakes, instead of assuming all is lost, we can trust that God will bring a deeper meaning and perhaps even greater good from them. There will always be more to our story. And when we feel helpless to address the great needs of our world, we can let God use what we can do – our small acts of lovingkindness – to make more of an impact than we might imagine.
Today, let’s walk as beloved children of God, doing the best we can with what we can, trusting that Jesus is using us for good in all things. God will guide, forgive, and love us through each moment. We can learn to let ourselves alone – because we know that God won’t!
Our reading for tomorrow will be John 14:1-27.
Bible verses found at BibleGateway.com