Today’s Gospel: John 12:1-11
We read in today’s Gospel that Jesus goes to Jerusalem even though He knows it is dangerous for Him. The authorities there are plotting to kill him as the end of the passage reveals to us.
Yet in today’s story we learn some valuable lessons about friendship and worship. We see four of Jesus’ friends and learn more about them and their relationship with Jesus.
We see Martha, forever the hostess, preparing and serving Jesus to make sure He is comfortable. We know Lazurus is there, Jesus’ dear friend. As we know, Jesus rose Lazurus from the dead which made the people in charge pretty upset. Even knowing this, Jesus comes to see his friend despite the cost.
We gain a good deal of insight into Judas. He is concerned with the cost of everything. He is annoyed that money is being spent on a lavish oil and states that the money should go to the poor. We know that Judas’ heart is not concerned with others and that he wants money for himself. In a few short days we will read of his betrayal of Jesus for silver coins.
The contrast between Judas and Mary couldn’t be more shocking. Mary sits at Jesus’ feet and anoints them with an expensive oil and then dries them with her own hair. What a humble way to worship. Jesus, knowing He is to die soon, announces that Mary is preparing His body for burial. Mary is unconcerned with the cost. She is willing to give all she has to Jesus.
This is one of the most powerful examples of worship in Scripture and we are called to the same. When we come to Jesus at Mass or in prayer, we are to pour out our praise and requests like oil on His feet. When we accept His reply and do His will it is as if we are drying His feet with our own hair.
This is especially poignant over these most holy days of the Easter Triduum. Pour yourself out this week on Him like holy oil. Accept His grace and forgiveness and dry His feet. Face the darkness of Good Friday so poured out that you rise again with Him on Easter morning.
Today ask yourself:
- Do I worship authentically?
- Do I pour myself out and dry Jesus’ feet at every Mass? Every time I pray?
- Do I offer what is most valuable to me, not counting the cost?
- How can today’s Gospel deepen my Holy Week pilgrimage?
Lord, allow me to learn to worship you authentically. Transform me through this Holy Week, drawing me closer to you.
Copyright 2014 Ellen Toole