Reflection on the Daily Readings for 4/06/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Monday of Holy Week. Scriptures: Isaiah 42:1-7. Psalm 27:188.8.131.52-14.
John 12:1-11. Lectionary #258:
The Evangelists have meditated upon these last days of Jesus while
remembering some of the poems of the Suffering Servant of God found in the
prophet Isaiah or in what we call II Isaiah. They resonate with the
sufferings and thoughts that seem to be those of Jesus as we carefully
listen to them. Today’s selection is a good summary of some of the things
Jesus accomplished and preached during his life. The show us his spirit
and his effectiveness in what he said and did in the last months of his
ministry. We are being prepared for his suffering, death, and resurrection
through all of the liturgical readings this week and they go backe to the
things most deeply remembered by the Evangelists. The prophetic readings
and the psalm with its response are carefully following the spirit of this
last week in Jesus’ historical life.
John tells us that it is now six days before the Passover. Jesus
probably retires each night at the home of Lazarus whom he has recently
raised from the dead and the sisters of Lazarus are there, Martha and Mary.
He needs to have such leisure, rest, and experience some warm hospitality
after having preached and confronted those who gathered to listen to him
near the temple. Mary now becomes the main person in this short account.
She anoints the feet of Jesus with a precious and costly genuine aromatic
(a fragrant ointment of the ancients). She does this in Jesus’ mind as a
preparation for his death and burial. She is concerned about his tiredness
and his wearied feet; it is an act of love in her mind. Judas, who is
envious and jealous is just the opposite. He is more concerned in selling
such an ointment so that he could have some reserves for himself. He is
not in the same frame of mind of Mary and her sister nor of Lazarus. Yet,
he is the one who will perpetrate the handing over of Jesus to the leaders
and then to the Romans for crucifixion. We are therefore led to be with
Mary and her brother and sister as we too prepare ourselves for the sacred
events that are soon upon us. Amen.