Extravagance Monday

A few years ago, I was in communal Adoration at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott, MD. Surrounded by adorers, led by an awesome worship team, I watched a soft cloud of incense wrap around me; in a word, I was in heaven. I had this bone-deep sense of something very special happening. I asked the Lord, “What is it? What am I feeling?” I was transported back to Bethany, and heard a line from today’s Gospel,
“Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”

Then I head a voice, filled with joy, say, “You are washing my feet. You are washing feet. You are washing my feet with your love and tears.”

I get goose bumps even now recalling it. Something beautiful happened long ago in Bethany that we recover every time we love extravagantly out of our brokenness, every time we push through our pride to bow, touch, and caress another. The Franciscan Sisters and Brothers of the Eucharist call today Extravagance Monday.

It is a day to show Extravagance to Christ in your worship, to his broken Body the Church, or to pour out your love in a special way on someone in need of your affection/caress/generosity. Consider an act of unexpected and lavish love today, and return to Bethany to hear the joyful Jesus say, “You are washing my feet. You are washing feet. You are washing my feet with your love and tears.”

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Welcoming Christ’s Triumphal Entry

14 - 1“Let us spread before his feet, not garments or souless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.” – St. Andrew of Crete

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Don’t miss the Person behind the penance

1958048_10201649460058156_931485978_nBehind every Lenten penance, practice, and prayer service is a PERSON. If we miss encountering Him, Lenten devotions become just another hollow religious exercise that never truly transforms. “Jesus Christ himself is the most sublime grace of Lent. It is he himself who appears before us in the admirable simplicity of the Gospel, of its words and its works. He speaks to us with the might of his Gethsemane, of the judgment before Pilate, of the scourging , of the crowning with thorns, of the via crucis, of his crucifixion: with everything that can shake man’s heart.” – Bl. John Paul II

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