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Monday of Holy Week, 2008

March 18, 2008

Hello, everyone…

I hope that Holy Week presents you with an opportunity to enjoy some prayer and meditation on our great Lord, and the many things that surrounded those momentous days of his life, so long ago. To help with that, I’m going to share some art that has been made through the centuries of our faith, art that helps us see and share in the stories of our Lord’s life.

 

One of today’s passages in the lexicon is John 12:1-11…

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

As I was reading this passage I was struck by this woman’s wisdom and intuition. It seems that from the many different accounts that the apostles were still not clued into Christ’s coming death, even after Jesus spoke of it so many times. They seem so caught off guard by the coming events… but not this woman, she’s ready and she’s doing what she can to prepare Jesus for the coming trials.

I want to be like that; I want to have Mary’s discernment and intuition. I pray that we each could better intuit the move of God in our own lives, and also in the swirl of life’s currents all around us.

I’ll be sending you Sunday’s prayers very soon… and if you’re not familiar with the art, it’s from a collection called “Jesus Mafa,” an endeavor to set the great events, parables and teachings of Christ completely in a North African context. I’ve been a fan for years, and will probably share one or two more from the collection throughout the week.

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