Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany. Martha served a dinner… while Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair.
Both Martha and Mary served the Lord. They served the best they could. Martha prepared a meal for Christ’s body while Mary prepared Christ’s body for burial. Both women were committed to the Lord. Both served the Lord well.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation” (Ps. 27:1a). Christ saves like no one else because Christ loves like no one else. He saves me from those around me. He even saves me from myself! I am not my own savior. I am not Him. (cf. Jn 1:19). I am not even worthy to untie His sandal or have Him enter under my roof. I am not worthy to look him straight in the eyes. This is not some pious nonsense. I am making perfect sense. I am simply stating the truth and the obvious. He is God and I am not. It is the Lord that makes no sense! After all, He is the one that comes looking for me. He looks me straight in the eyes. Christ is the one that unties my sandal and washes my feet. He is the one that enters under my filthy roof and heals me. Why? The Lord is my savior. No one else loves like Him.
The Lord is my light. He enlightens my heart and my mind like no one else because he believes in me like no one else. Yes, the Lord believes in me more than I believe in Him! If I doubt in the Lord it is because I doubt in myself. Doubt does not come from the meek or from the humble of heart. Doubt comes from the boastful and from the arrogant of heart.
Mary and Martha were neither arrogant nor boastful; they were simply intelligent and humble. They were intelligent because they knew who to serve in their life: God. They were humble because they knew who they were: handmaids of the Lord. And they knew who they could never be. But the Lord knew them well, and He knew them better than they knew themselves. And so they became more than they ever dreamed they could be. They became the Lord’s best friends. Yes, God can have best friends, just like a dog can be so important in a man’s life. These two became the “God-man’s” best friends.
The Lord is my light. He enlightens my sins and my shame like no one else because he shines high above me like no one else. My instinct is to fight or flight. When I hide in my closet, away from the light, I wish the Lord away; more than I wish myself away. I wish to be left alone, to be seen no more. But the “Lord alone is compassionate with our faults.” The Lord alone walks straight into my room; never doubting, never failing, and somewhat never invited! I fear in what He can revile and who He can reveal. The Lord’s presence makes all things go bright. His very presence sheds light upon my sins. Can He be persuaded to leave me alone? Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man! Will He just step in? Could He be satisfied with being in close proximity? Close but not too close? No. I know the Lord. He will walk straight in and turn to the right. He will open the door that hides my skin. He will brighten the darkness that bathes my sins. He will release my, like a prisoner, and take my place. He will throw me out and close himself in. He will shut the door as a tomb is shut tight. Never boastful, never arrogant but confident and courageous, He will take my grave sins and bury them in His grave. Those who live in darkness have seen a great light!
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Like Mary, I place my faith and my love in the Lord, regardless of the cost; regardless of the shame; regardless of any pain. How could it be any different for me? It is Christ’s love that saved me and condemned Him! Faith and love saves as well as condemns.
Look graciously, O Lord, upon the sacred mysteries we celebrate here, and may what you have mercifully provided to cancel the judgment we incurred bear for us fruit in eternal life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.