Josemaría Escrivá Obras

We will finish with a quotation which the Gospel of today's Mass offers for our consideration: 'Six days before the Paschal feast Jesus went to Bethany where Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised to life, had died. And a feast was made for him there, at which Martha was waiting at table, while Lazarus was one of his fellow guests. And now Mary brought in a pound of pure spikenard ointment, which was very precious, and poured it over the feet of Jesus, wiping his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the scent of the ointment.' What a shining proof of magnanimity is this extravagance on Mary's part! Judas on the other hand laments this waste of so valuable a perfume; in his greed he had been calculating the price: it would have fetched at least 'three hundred silver pieces'.

True detachment leads us to be very generous with God and with our fellow men. It makes us actively resourceful and ready to spend ourselves in helping the needy. A Christian cannot be content with a job that only allows him to earn enough for himself and his family. He will be big-hearted enough to give others a helping hand both out of charity and as a matter of justice, in the manner described by St Paul when writing to the Romans: 'Macedonia and Achaia have thought fit to make a contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. They have thought fit to do it, I say, and indeed they are in their debt. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual blessings, they should also contribute to their temporal needs in return.'

Don't be mean and grudging with people who, without counting the cost, have given of their all, everything they have, for your sake. Just ask yourselves, how much does it cost you — in financial terms as well — to be Christians? Above all, don't forget that 'God loves a cheerful giver. And God has the power to supply you abundantly with every kind of blessing, so that, with all your needs well supplied at all times, you may have something to spare for every work of mercy.'

As we draw closer during this Holy Week to the suffering of Jesus Christ, let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to enable us, like her, to keep all these things in our minds and ponder over them in our hearts.

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