Monday of Holy Week 2015

Monastic life is sometimes presented in terms of today’s gospel, John 12.1–11: as the jar of nard broken and poured, a scandal to those with a social conscience because, of course, monks and nuns don’t do anything ‘useful’. It is a beautiful analogy and reminds us how close we ought to be to Christ in his Passion; how all-embracing our prayer should be, so that the wideness of our charity wafts abroad as a pure fragrance. But — and it is a very important ‘but’ — that gospel is set alongside the reading from Isaiah 42.1—7 about the Suffering Servant and the bringing of true justice. No matter where we are, no matter what our role in the Church, we ALL have a duty to share in the work of Jesus Christ our Saviour, bringing about a right order — true justice — and in so doing ‘opening the eyes of the blind, setting captives free, releasing those imprisoned in darkness.’

During Holy Week it is easy to live in a kind of bubble, just God and us, if I may put it that way. We think and pray — rightly — about our relationship with God, all that he has done and continues to do for us; but today’s readings remind us that it can never be just God and us. The whole world is involved. The little circle of the monastery; the bigger circle of the Church; both these are part of a bigger circle still, that of the entire globe. As Christians we have been given an immense privilege, but with privilege comes responsibility. We must work tirelessly for true justice — and break that jar of nard over some surprising feet.

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3 thoughts on “Monday of Holy Week 2015”

  1. Had a quiet morning last Thursday with one of our Bishops.

    He invited us to reflect on our vocations in life laid alongside our Christian vocation and call to service. And what has changed or might change if we respond anew to that call that God gives each of us.

    In someways that challenge was good, because it allowed quiet time for reflection on my life’s vocation, now ended due to retirement, but in particular that vocation that came hot on the heels of coming back to faith and to church in 2008. At that stage, the ‘why me’ question was the one that caused lots of heart ache. Later, having accepted that God calls all of us and in some cases to a particular form of service, it than turned out to wrong, or at least in those wise people, given the role to assess the validity of a vocation.

    Now, having explored and commenced training for Licensed Lay Ministry, I’m having to reevaluate it all over again, as after the foundation year of the course, I have to submit to a new selection process to proceed to the 2nd and 3rd years of the course.

    So, the Bishop’s challenge is a worthy one. And you post today just makes it more urgent. If we’re to fulfill the life that Jesus came to give us to live, fully and abundantly, all of those things that you write about, apply to me now and in the future.

    I pray that I have the humility strength and courage to fulfill them all.

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