Monday, April 6, 2009
The anointing at Bethany
The Gospel (John 12:1-11) is the anointing at Bethany. After dinner, served by Martha, Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil and anointed the feet of Jesus. When Judas criticizes this gesture of love, Jesus told him, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial..." What am I giving the Lord today as a gesture of love?
Pope Benedict XVI wrote: "There is only one anointing that is strong enough to meet death and that is the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the love of God. There is, then, something that is both exemplary and lasting in Mary's anointing of Jesus at Bethany. It was above all a concern to keep Christ alive in this world and to oppose the powers that aimed to silence and kill him. It was an act of faith and love. Every such act can have the same effect."
The opening prayer for this Monday of Holy Week is: "All-powerful God, by the suffering and death of your Son, strengthen and protect us in our weakness. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever."
One other quotation that seems good to reflect on in Holy Week is from St. Thomas of Villanova. " It is necessary for us to consider not only what Christ suffered, but also who it is that suffered, and for what he suffered."
We can ask ourselves the questions St. Ignatius would have us ask as we look on Christ crucified: What have I done for Him? What am I doing for Him? What will I do for Him?"