Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meditation XV -- Wanting

"and whenever you want, you can do good for them."

Let us set the scene for this verse. While Jesus was having dinner at the house of a leper (one who was expected to be shunned), a women came and gave Our Lord the honor of anointing Him with nard. She, most likely, should not -- based on social convention -- have been touching a man. And the men there scoffed and scolded, claiming that the ointment could have been sold and money given to the poor.

Several times in Christ's earthly ministry, His friends and disciples tried to keep others from him. Always it was with the excuse of something "more important." Once they tried to keep children from being blessed by Him because presumably Jesus was too busy. Here they exploited the poor. Sounds good on the surface. Jesus the VIP. Jesus the defender of the lowly.

But Jesus is not interested in the logic of businessmen-followers. He wasn't Jesus the politician. He answers that we will always have the poor to give to. Whenever we want. Of course, because The Lord has demonstrated His Love and Holy Concern for the poor, we should too. But His words cut deep, because the implication here is that His disciples really did not want to do good to the poor. They had another agenda.

Perhaps worse than ignoring the children of God, be they the poor, sick, or incarcerated, is using those children as an excuse to keep Christ (or what we expect Christ is) to ourselves. For loving God is not a matter of acting in a particular way or avoiding certain things or people. Loving God wholly means also loving good, wanting to do good.

Lord, test and turn my will, that my desire to serve you will be pure, free from selfishness or agenda, except the agenda to love You more. Amen in Christ.

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