Monday 6 April 2020

Word for today
The Gospel of John 12:1-11


His calmness is uncanny. One of His disciples is about to betray Him, the leaders of the people have already decided to imprison and to kill Him, yet He is calmly reclining at the dinner table and lets himself be anointed with oil and tears, grace, and fragrance. The people want to compromise His calmness with a moralistic logic, with economic calculations, even with the pretence of charity and justice, and some are loudly grumbling even in contempt of his calm composure.  For the human mind, whose stupidity is unlimited, His calm is unbelievable indifference, His silence an unforgivable connivance with evil, His letting the woman continue a threatening reticence, His lack of participation an eccentric, sovereign injustice, His grace under torture a false superiority. We would like to see Jesus compromised, compromised in the whirlwind of our agitation, in the hubbub of our provocations, lies, and devious interests, in the conformism of our hypocritical thirst for justice and truth. We would like Jesus to scream and curse while He is being scourged, a Jesus that kicks and insults when they rip out His beard, a Jesus consumed by thirst for revenge while evil is winning so shamelessly and boldly, a Jesus blinded by the desire to unleash His divine omnipotence in the most violent and humiliating manner against His enemies, a Jesus despoiled of His grace and beauty and overcome by a furious wrath. That was the Jesus that Satan dreamed of, the Jesus that the leaders were yearning for. But Jesus remains calm, open, loving, free from having to hold onto anything that is not compassion or love, free from the pressure of having to necessarily hate someone or something.
They take everything away from Him, absolutely everything, but His calm and His scent. The calm of His heart and the perfume, the perfume and the fragrance, the nard’s fragrance of love poured by the loving and sometimes tearful face of humanity, that part of humanity that is aware of its limitations and inability to love: a loving yet poor humanity but so rich as to possess the precious perfume of love, tenderness, humility and unconditional heartfelt gratitude to offer to its wonderful and calm God, who is cheerful and smiling, and still sitting always and in any case at the dinner table at peace with us.