Holy Monday

“My Home”

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9, John 12:1-11

When I pick up my Emma Sophia and Eric Gabriel from the daycare everyday there is a sense that the first part of the day has been accomplished. When we arrive home, we are in the process of accomplishing our second part. Even though my kids love to go to daycare there is also a need for going back home, have dinner, have a nice bubble bath, and get ready to sleep until the next day.

It has not been easy for my children and for my family to navigate the isolation that we have been experiencing these last couple years. Because my children are under five, they have not been vaccinated. We need to be careful with gatherings and interactions. When I see my children not being able to live their lives to their fullest because of all the protocols for their safety, it makes me think and dream about when they will be able to play with their neighbors as once in my childhood, I was able to do.

I know I am not alone. Other parents that I speak with are in similar situations that me and my family are experiencing. But it is hard. I cannot deny it is hard. Being a mother, a pastor, a wife, it is hard. And on the top of that, not being able to do all the activities that can nurture you, the ones that can feed you, make you wonder when this transitional period will end. Then I am reminded “I, the Lord, have called you for a good reason. I will grasp your hand and guard you, and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to lead the prisoners from prison, and those who sit in darkness from the dungeon.” (Isaiah 42: 6-7)

For some of us home is the place we live, and we feel loved, safe and secure. Others might say that home is the place where family lives and encounters their joys, difficulties, and human manifestations. Still others might say that home is the place where we can be who we really are. It is in our home that my husband, kids and me are able to share our expressions and interact as we want to be.

It is in a home that Mary, Martha and Lazarus hosted a dinner for Jesus. It was probably a dinner full of conversations, interactions and a lot of talking and love. Our homes have become our everything during the last couple years. Our home has been a place where we gather, a place we work and a place we have been able to function and be productive.

In that home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, Mary anointed Jesus’s feet with an expensive perfume. She also wiped his feet with her hair. Imagine the aroma of that perfume. A smell that is unforgettable and is anointing us today. Imagining that we are being anointed by Mary, a woman who took a risk and opened herself up by giving a really valuable gift that would be used up with one act, in one day.

A lot of things can happen in a home, and we might not even know what’s happening inside. As soon as we close our doors nobody else except us knows what happening. There are homes that are full of love, cuteness or running around like mine, but there are others that do not have the same experience. We have heard how in the last years and increase of violence against women has taken place. How many women have been abused and tortured? A lot of women and children go without food or provision. A lot of women still today are deprived of independence because of patriarchal systems; many of these situations happening inside of a home.

Jesus, as the light of the world, was anointed by a woman named Mary. Jesus was anointed by the faithful servant Mary with an expensive perfume and Mary, with this anointing, was preparing Jesus for his burial. This action was unexpected. Mary saw there was a need for Jesus to be anointed. It is in these unexpected moments that we need to take courage and take action.

In this Lenten season a lot of things can happen inside of a home and that’s the reason we need to pray without ceasing so our homes can be anointed by the love, light, and peace of God. It is anointing each corner of our homes with the name of Jesus that we are going to find freedom, joy and find the strength and wisdom we need to face the challenging world we live in.

Let us Pray: God of light and truth, be our defense and our refuge in the times when we feel weak and powerless. Anoint each one of us with your presence so we can feel prepared to face each of our days and nights. Surround each of our homes with your fragrance, Oh God, so our homes continue being a blessing for our families and people around us.  Give us the opportunity to serve by anointing others like Mary anointed you, with love. It is in your name that we pray. Amen.

Rev. Jeniffer Rodríguez is the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Ossining. Jeniffer and her husband Kyle Craig are parents of Emma Sophia and Eric Gabriel. She is the chaplain of the ecumenical choir Cántico Nuevo and also chair of the Grants Committee for the Hudson River Presbytery. With a background in communications,  Rev. Rodriguez earned her masters from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. 

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