St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

 

Readings and Reflections for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

· Isaiah 43:16-21

· Philippians 3:4b-14

· John 12:1-8

Dear Friends,

The prophet Isaiah describes the promise of the Lord who prepares for the restoration of his people by making a way for them in the desert.  The Lord will do a new thing that refreshes and restores a people who had been defeated and exiled.

In John’s Gospel we hear of the time, about one week before the death of Jesus, that Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus) anoints his feet with a costly oil.  Mary displays her love for the one who had welcomed her to sit at his feet as a disciple, and the one who had wept with her over the death of her brother Lazarus before restoring him to life.  Now the gospel hints that Mary wants to honor her friend and master, and prepare him for his own burial.

Paul speaks to the Philippian Church about the “surpassing value of knowing Christ as my Lord.”   The only thing that matters to him is the “call of God in Christ Jesus.” In light of the relationship and purpose he has with the living, risen Christ, Paul considers everything else disposable. 

Comment: Mary and Paul show me how much they feel connected to Jesus.  Because they belong to him, this new reality in their lives shapes everything else.  To whom would I say I belong?  I often act like I belong only to myself.  But we all belong to others, and this belonging really shapes my life and decisions. How does my life show that I belong to Jesus, who in spite of myself, has made me His own!  Mary and Paul respond to Jesus with great generosity. I am thankful for the times my life truly reflects that I belong to Jesus.  When I lack this generosity toward my Lord, it usually means I’m focused on myself. David S. Robinson, Rector Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church Maple Glen, PA 19002