Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
As we prayerfully begin our journey into Holy Week, One Hope Project help guide us with the song ‘Abba Father’.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
The readings this week bring us into the Passion of Christ. Jesus was now a hunted man. He came to Bethany where he was among friends. Imagine yourself in the room where they were eating. See the persons present, Martha and Mary and Lazarus. Look at Jesus: is he calm or agitated or sorrowful? How do you see him?
Watch as Mary comes with the jar of perfume and anoints his feet. Spend time with this loving and beautiful action. Notice how she touches the feet of Jesus. Smell the aroma of the perfume. Remember Jesus’s own words: ‘when you do this to the least of my brothers and sisters you do it to me.’
Listen again to the reading. Notice Jesus’s response to Judas. What are your own reactions to the criticism Judas levels here?
Jesus says, ‘you do not always have me.’ But in some ways Jesus is always with us. Perhaps you could talk to him now about the ways he is present in your life.