I regret when I have interrogated my loved ones, assuming the worst in their intentions. "How could you . . . ?" "Why did you do that?" "What made you say that?" Without taking a moment to consider their motive, I've let lose a string of accusing questions.
When I consider the root of my questions, I find anger, annoyance, pride, selfishness—just like Judas. Had the Gospel writer not clarified that Judas asked his question from a place of greed and rather than concern for the poor (see John 12:6), I would have read his question and seconded it.
Serving the poor is in fact a Corporal Work of Mercy, and Jesus encourages us to share with those in need (see Matthew 19:21). All through Lent, we practice giving alms.
Now on this Monday of Holy Week, I feel like I often do: I haven't done enough, given enough, fasted enough. All my thoughts focus on myself. When I could seek the Lord more fervently and ask for His mercies, I focus on how my actions stack up against another’s (Mary’s, in this case).
That is why I can imagine agreeing with Judas. Blinded by greed, he didn't care about the poor. He didn’t even see or love the Lord in his midst. And when I’m blinded by my failures, by my self-comparisons with other women, by my pride, then I don’t see Jesus in my life. Not seeing Jesus in my presence leads me down a path towards sin and destruction.
Sisters, this is the week to seek Jesus and His mercy. I’m laying down my pride and judgements to see Jesus in front of me. I don’t have to imagine "what would I have done if I was at that dinner party," I need to remember Jesus is in my presence now. His words, "you do not always have Me," motivate me to seek Him and serve Him in those closest to me—my family, friends, neighbors.
Before I let lose another string of awful questions, I aim to pray:
Jesus, let me see You here now, so that I may love You and serve You as Mary and Martha did.
Meet me with mercy before I let pride and greed consume me, blinding me to Your presence.
Show me Your Holy Face and let me know Your will.
Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
Gina Fensterer finds daily life to be perfect for practicing virtue and sometimes blogs about raising up saints (she has six children). She loves the Jesus prayer, long runs, and coffee at any time of day. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.