I am learning to “be in the moment” to be fully present. In her book Loving-Kindness, Sharon Salzberg writes, “The simple act of being completely present to another person is truly an act of love.”
In today’s Gospel lesson we find Jesus having a meal at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. The preceding verses tell us that Jesus is being pursued. People have been ordered to be on the look-out for him and to report his whereabouts to the chief priests and Pharisees. They plan to have him arrested. Ultimately, secretly, they plan to kill him.
I wonder about the mood at this particular meal. I can imagine a scene where everyone around the table is filled with anxiety and worry; one where the mood hangs heavy as a shroud. Perhaps it is in her heaviness —grief —that Mary leaves the table and returns with the jar of perfume. I wonder at the emotions she experienced as she cleaned Jesus’ feet with it. What did she feel and think as she used her own hair to dry them? It seems to me that Mary knew something about being in the moment—about being fully present.
What cues can we take from Mary? From Jesus? He also knew something about being fully present, didn’t he? What shape might life take—might the world take—if we turned fully towards one another in a mindset of loving compassion?
It has been my practice to give up things I enjoy during Lent. As I write this, I’m still thinking about whether or not I will keep to this tradition this year. One thing I know I will do is to continue to work on honoring each moment of each day.