Passionate Spirituality- CONTEMPLATION
Passionate Spirituality is not only to do with developing our relationship with God but allowing ourselves to be transformed by it and to have our deepened understanding direct our actions. This takes time as we meditate on scripture and on the person and actions of Jesus/God
Mary of Bethany was a contemplative person. Naturally retiring she was attracted to Jesus and loved to sit at His feet listening. When Jesus visited the family home she shared with Lazarus and Martha it was her chief delight. Martha whose expression of love was shown through service was irritated by her lack of support. She was unable to understand that Mary was also doing something worthwhile. But in a situation where so many people were demanding things from Jesus I think that He was blessed by Mary’s committed undemanding love.
When Martha asked Jesus to tell her to help He defended her saying that Mary had made the best choice.
As we follow the story of Mary we discover that she was changed by her time spent with Jesus. When Lazarus died it is Martha that goes to greet His late arrival but when He asks for Mary, the stay at home girl, runs to meet Him and later sees Jesus raise Lazarus from death. She grows from a retiring girl to someone affirmed by spending time with Him and hearing His approval.
Our third account of Mary shows a transformed person who takes expensive perfume into a crowded room and pours it over Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her loosened hair. Her love is extravagant and embarrassing to some there. Judas accuses her for her wastefulness but again Jesus defends her. He appreciates her show of love and her understanding of His coming situation.
Mary’s life challenges us to spend time with Jesus contemplating Jesus’ love and ways so that our lives may be transformed too.
Fey Holtum 17-3-13