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23 December 2016

Friday 23 December

[Matthew 26: 1-13]

Extravagant Love

Today’s reading is the beginning of Jesus Christ’s final week on earth. Jesus knows that his enemies are plotting to kill him. It will be the final battle against the powers of death - the Enemy’s greatest weapon. But Jesus will not hold back even from this. Whatever it takes, he is ready to give because of his love for the world and his desire to rescue humankind from their bondage to the Enemy’s power. The Messiah, ‘the Anointed One’ is ready to fulfil God’s promise.

In our reading we see a foretaste of his extravagant costly love in the loving gift of the woman who anoints him. The disciples’ reaction to her gift is outrage at ‘the waste’. What did they mean by ‘waste’? Of course, there are always other things to do with money – but, while people are still consumed by greed and selfishness, no amount of money will remove poverty from the world. When passers-by looked at Christ dying on the cross, did they say – ‘Such a waste of a good man!’, little realising that what they were seeing was the triumphant breaking of the stranglehold of sin, and the pouring out of God’s extravagant saving love to all mankind. No waste! Let us be ready to give and receive God’s extravagant love this Christmas.


For further reflection, please read Tom Wright – Advent for Everyone, A Journey Through Matthew, pages 111-116