The Gospel Today
Monday of Holy Week
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.
Reflection(Sem. Eldrick Pena):
As we near the day of our Lord’s passion, we are asked by today’s Gospel about how much we love Jesus and can this love that we have for Him be equalled by anything, say a sum of money? Mary Magdalene’s gesture of anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume is a pure act of love performed by someone whose heart is over flowing with gratitude and thanksgiving for the love she has also received. Jesus earlier has raised Lazarus, Magdalene’s brother, into life. Judas questioned this act saying that the perfume should just be sold, and the money should be given to the poor. But this was not his real purpose. He was not really concerned about the poor but he was concerned with the money he can steal if the perfume was sold.
This Lenten season, we are all invited to examine our relationship with the Lord. Have we been drawn closer to Him through our prayer life and our partaking in the Holy Eucharist? And have we become a real “brother” or “sister” to others especially those who are in dire need? Our love for the Lord cannot simply be expressed through words, it should be acted out. We should not fall into the trap that it is already enough that we go to mass every Sunday and pray and in doing so, we can already consider ourselves good Christians. A genuine relationship with God bears much good fruit. St. James reminds us that “faith without work is dead.” Therefore, our love for Jesus should be expressed in the form of good work, compassion and concern for others.