Monday of Holy Week
Today is Monday of Holy Week, the 29 March.
Salt of the Sound sings, ‘Awake my Soul’. As we enter into Holy Week, take a moment to prepare yourself for prayer today.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
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.’
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and some of those who are close to him are aware of the threats to his life. Today, we see how his dear friend, Mary of Bethany, will say her goodbye.
Did anyone understand Jesus more than Mary of Bethany? She had sat at his feet and listened as a disciple. Today, she anoints those feet. This may be the second to last time that anyone will handle the feet of Jesus . . .
Her expression of love is extravagant and we might expect Jesus to stop her. Instead, he allows her to pour perfume on his feet and wipe them with her hair. What’s happening between them as she does this? . . .
Don’t we have some sympathy with the point Judas is making here? What is it about Jesus that he is able to accept what is happening? . . .
There is food, probably wine and perfume in this passage. As you listen again, follow the action with your sense of smell...
Take a moment to consider: how will Mary of Bethany be looking at the feet of Jesus in a few days time?
We adore you O Christ and we bless you
because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.