April 15, 2019
JOHN 12 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews
The corporate ego of the priesthood was by then murderously enraged. Nothing will provoke such behavior from the, “so-called,” righteous than someone with an idea that contradicts everything the ruling righteous stood on. That is why the disorienting contradicting parables got Jesus killed. I can testify that we “professional Christians” are particularly susceptible to a virulent, fatal strain of the We-Plague.
While all of us have an ego shadow, any group’s collective “we” is as unforgiving of another’s “I” as a flock of ravens pecking to death one of their own, born albino. It didn’t seem to cross the minds of that crowd to stop and reflect on Lazarus’ inching out in his mummy wrapping as a miracle! Rather, they saw him as an unfortunate symptom of a deadly threat. Getting Lazarus back in the ground was job one!
Beloved, righteousness fueled by rage is all ways a fatal mutation. The epidemic is all around us. For the first time in almost sixty-five years, I actually pray for”…the Republic for which it stands.” How then, do we live in the face of such fear fueled hatred?
First we face our own fearful anxiety. We consciously contract our ego, thus growing ourselves up and calming ourselves down. Becoming the Gospel, daring to say I in the face of the terrified we is what Jesus would do if he were here. He did it the first time and he left us (as his body) to do it in ours.
In hope, in spite of the facts.