Daily Reflection
April 17th, 2000
Lori Spanbauer
Campus Ministry
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Monday of Holy Week 
Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalms 27:1-3, 13-14
John 12:1-11

I am in this gospel story.  We all are.  Today Jesus shares the spotlight with several people, all of whom represent a part of all of us as disciples. 

There is Martha.  Martha, of course, serves at the banquet, just as we've come to know her to often do.  Perhaps Martha represents the action part of discipleship.  Perhaps Martha is the part of us that wants to make sure that the hungry are fed and the homeless have shelter.  Martha fights against injustices, and sometimes has little patience with people who seem more concerned with spirituality and devotions than action.  Martha is my housemate, Mike.  Mike works long hours to serve needy children and families at a north Omaha public school.  He works one overnight shift a week at a homeless shelter.  He hosts a small faith-sharing group in our home.  He is active in our neighborhood association and he works on diocesan retreats.  We, his community members, have to frequently remind him that we need him too.  He is a servant with whom I know God is pleased.

Mary anoints the feet of Jesus.  Perhaps Mary represents the part of us that is drawn to prayer, worship, and devotion.  She is the part of us wanting to praise and honor God.  She may be the one who lives most fully in the now.  She is one with a grateful heart.  Mary is my friend Roxanne.  Roxanne is really into environment.  When she is planning services and prayer experiences, she spends most of her time on the environment, making sure everything will point people to God.  She must have the perfect cloths, art, and symbols.  Also, Roxanne will often stop me in the middle of a conversation and say, "Oh, we need to stop and thank the Lord for that."  And her spontaneous prayers are long.  She is a servant with whom I know God is pleased.

Lazarus has done nothing but be loved by Jesus and rescued from death.  Perhaps Lazarus represents the part of us that tells the world of God's love and power to save.  Lazarus is responsible for many believing in Jesus.  Lazarus is my college friend, Tiffany.  Tiffany had a conversion experience several years ago, shortly after we left college.  She wrote me a lengthy letter in which she proclaimed over and over again her gratitude for being loved and saved by God.  As I read the letter, I became envious.  At the time, I was going through a faith crisis.  I had many doubts and questions about my faith and I felt lost.  I was envious of Tiffany's relationship with God.  In her letter, Tiffany told me that it was the strength of my faith in college that had planted a seed in her.  Ironically, it was her letter, her story of conversion that led me to recommit myself to my faith.  She is a servant with whom I know God is pleased.

And then there is Judas.  Perhaps Judas represents the sinful parts of all of us, the parts of us that let fear and doubt win until they turn us away from God's love.  We are all capable of greed and sin.  We all have our own stories of greed and betrayal.  

What's the greatest difference between Judas and the others in the story?  Perhaps it is that the other disciples chose to stay in, or return to, the light.  No matter how weak and sinful they were, they held on to their relationship with Jesus.  They lived in his light and shared in his forgiveness.  We too can choose to stay in the light of Christ.  Jesus holds out a loving invitation to us all to believe his good news and be healed, and proclaim him as our light and our salvation.

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