give and take
"She anointed Jesus' feet. Then she dried His feet with her hair." —John 12:3
Mary of Bethany gladly poured out a year's salary on Jesus' feet (Jn 12:3, 5). Martha joyfully spared no labor or expense to throw a large banquet for Jesus (Jn 12:2). The magi braved many months of hardship, danger, and travel to bring expensive gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense to Jesus, along with their love and homage (Mt 2:11). For each of these, the prospect of being allowed to give to Jesus outweighed any cost or inconvenience.
Judas saw things differently. He didn't give to Jesus. Instead, he took from Jesus. He took Jesus' money, helping "himself to what" others gave to Jesus (Jn 12:6). He took advantage of the position that Jesus gave him as a disciple, saying to the chief priests: " 'What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?' They paid him thirty pieces of silver" (Mt 26:15). Judas took all the lessons Jesus lovingly taught His disciples during the last precious days of His life, which we call Holy Week, and trashed them. That's because Judas spent Holy Week "looking for an opportunity to hand [Jesus] over" (Mt 26:16) instead of listening to Jesus.
What are your plans for Holy Week? Will you give to Jesus or take from Him? If you're going to take from Jesus, "take" His eucharistic body (Mt 26:26), especially on Holy Thursday. Take time to adore Him. Take Him at His word. Give your life to Him.
Prayer: Jesus, You gave Your life for me. I give my life to You.
Promise: "Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear." —Ps 27:3
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who humbly accepted the lavish love of others.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (Give your life to Jesus by helping others using the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004