Monday, September 13, 2010

Daily Office Reflection: Joy in the Face of Opposition

Psalms 56, 57, (58) * 64, 65; Job 40:1-24; Acts 15:36-16:5; John 11:55-12:8

We all know people who like to be spoilers. Folks who thrive on being that naysaying nudge. Those who want to go negative all the time, for whatever deep psychological reason from which they are acting. Perhaps (and hopefully) these folks we know are not of the depraved level of the Judas portrayed in John's Gospel today.

Jesus is visiting Mary, Martha and Lazarus after a time away from them. We can surmise that Jesus was not only good friends with these three, but loved them dearly. Mary certainly palpably shows her love by anointing his feet with costly perfume and Jesus rebukes the naysaying Judas who criticizes Mary's actions.

We are being given a model in today's reading from John of how to live joyfully and with full-on-love in the face of opposition. Jesus does not only face opposition at this joyful gathering with people he loves, but our Gospel begins today with the continued plotting of the Pharisees. These conspiracies and negativity do not stop Jesus from being the center of joy and love, while experiencing those emotions himself. When we face similar situations, it is important to remember who we are, what we believe, and know that there is deep joy found by our living into our faith. That joy allows us to remain in that state of bliss in the face of self-righteous, narrow minded, self-serving indignation. This brings a smile to my face this morning.

Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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