Let me lay at your feet Meditation on Wednesday of Holy Pascha

April 11, 2023

In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit one God, Amen.


Events of Wednesday

Today, the Church places before us two very specific characters. When you consider how they began their journey and how they ended it, we are astonished to see that things don’t end up the way we thought they would. We are presented with a sinner woman who was referred to as Mary in one of the Gospels. Sometimes her identity is attributed to Mary the sister of Lazarus. Mary is a person who has been living a life that others looked down upon. She lives a life that is filled with sin. She hears that Jesus is nearby, the One she loves, the one she looks at and is inspired by and who fills her with hope. She decided to do something extremely bold. A woman who would normally hide from the public and naturally feel like she should avoid the crowd, decides to pursue Him at every cost. She finds out that He is having supper at a nobleman’s house, a house she would never dare enter, where she knows full well she is not welcome. But because her Savior is there, she decided to simply not care. She decided that she will not give in to the pressures of the crowd. She takes a flask of fragrant oil and she decides that she’s going to take that and fulfill an act that demonstrates a tremendous amount of honor. She wants to anoint her Savior. She wants to honor Him, she wants to raise Him to a level of dignity by showing this love towards Him. So she decides she’s going to completely ignore the stares. She is not going to care about the people’s looks. She will not care that she is judged. She does not overthink and tell herself, “What if they stop me at the door? What if they prevent me from approaching Him? What if they kick me out of the house?” Instead, she boldly gathers her

things and rushes toward her Savior. In doing so, she manages to grasp everything she was hoping to get a hold of. She holds on to Him, she places herself at His feet, she anoints Him with the oil. She weeps at His feet, washes and dries them with her hair. Everyone else stares, and everyone else judges. You must keep in mind that at the time of Jesus, people truly thought that dealing with people who were sinful such as this woman, even touching her, would defile you. But He lets her approach. He lets her embrace, lets her sit at His feet. He makes Himself accessible to her. He knows that she needs this healing, this love.

So the Church remembers her, and sets her on a pedestal, and we remember her act, her boldness, repentance, courage. Just as the Lord said that what she has done will be remembered unto the ages, so now the Church celebrates her memory, which is truly eternal. We do what she has done: we come to Him, we offer repentance, we cry at His feet. We come to a Church that is filled with people and we think to ourselves, “What if they judge? What if they point the finger? What if I am exposed?” Let me ask you, my beloved. What if? And who cares? Is He not worth the pursuit? Is your healing not worth being exposed? Is a little bit of humiliation not worth us being fully restored? Do we not bare our naked bodies in front of physicians in order for them to be able to administer the healing we need so that our health can be restored? Do we not expose ourselves in front of these strangers that are doctors in the hopes that somehow they can take away the pain and the suffering? Why would we not do the same with our Lord? Why would we not come and ask Him to heal us? Why would we not place ourselves at His feet and cry, repent, and allow Him to restore us, to love us, and to raise us back to our dignity?

The other person the Church places before us today is the person of Judas, the disciple. Now Judas sees what happens and thinks to himself, “What a waste! That oil could have been sold for three hundred denarii!” He says this out loud in his hypocrisy. “We could have used that money and given it to the poor!” But even the evangelist testifies and says that he couldn’t care less about the poor. What he cares about is his profit, his pockets, because he used to steal even from the money box of donations. Judas, the disciple, the one who was chosen, the one who was sent out with the disciples, the one who cast out demons, the one who participated and saw the miracles, the one who walked with Christ, thinks to himself, “I cannot follow this man.” He thinks, “This is foolish. He is not the leader I thought He would be. If He is not going to be the leader that I thought He would be, then I will not be the person that I want to be. I want to follow a leader, I want to be in the entourage of a person who is successful and popular, a person that will lead with might, a person that will lead with power, a person that will have political influence, not this poor humble righteous person, who loves the poor, sinful, brokenhearted and the sick. I am not interested in any of those things. I am interested in following a man of power.” So Judas sets it in his heart that day to make a profit, even off of Christ. He could have sold the oil for three hundred denarii. So he thinks to himself, “Well, I can make thirty pieces of silver elsewhere. If I could not sell the oil, then let me sell Him, let me betray Him.” And he sets it in His heart that night to sell His own Savior.

One woman gave up oil and she offered it to Christ. The other offered Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Which will we be? Will we be the person who recognizes his or her brokenness and asks

to be restored, healed, and reconciled? Or will we be the one who has always been part of the following, but steps out and sells Him for the smallest of amounts, for a little bit of lust, greed, jealousy, anger, for our own pride? My beloved, the Church sets this before us today, and tells us to choose wisely. The Church encourages us and tells us to keep our eyes on that woman. You come to Christ, you anoint Him with your offering. Sit at His feet and weep and let your prayer be, “Lord, please let me lay down at your feet and accept my repentance.”

To God be all glory now and forever and unto the ages of all ages, Amen.


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