Holy Monday and A Holy Anointing at Bethany.
There are many themes in today’s Gospel. Jesus receives beautiful hospitality at that house in Bethany, a pleace where he could truly be himself. Mary anoints Jesus with pure nard, as she probably would again after his burial, and is reprimanded by Judas Iscariot. He describes her attentions as “a waste” and accuses her of neglecting the poor. His own motivations are obvious to everyone but he is self-deluded enough to carry on his protests. And Jesus, being treated as the guest of honour, makes the pronouncement that the poor are always with us but no so with him.
Holy Monday then gives us an opportunity to offer hospitality to others but most of all to Jesus. How do we intend to make time for Jesus this week? As a comedian said on the radio this morning, “We are devout Catholics and always attended Mass on Sundays … unless the Giants make the play-offs!” Can we make a home for Christ within us, cherishing his presence whilst still within our reach.
A reading from ‘The Second Letter of Saint Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague’
As a poor virgin,
embrace the poor Christ.
Look upon him who became contemptible for you,
and follow him, making yourself contemptible in this world for him. Your Spouse, though more beautiful than all born in this world,
became, for your salvation, the lowest of men, was despised, struck, scourged untold times throughout his entire body, and then died amid the suffering of the Cross.
O most noble Queen, gaze upon him,
as you desire to imitate him.
If you suffer with him, you will reign with him. If you weep with him, you shall rejoice with him. If you die with him on the cross of tribulation,
you shall possess heavenly mansions in the splendour of the saints and, in the Book of Life,
your name shall be called glorious among all people.
Because of this you shall share always and forever the glory of the kingdom of heaven in place of earthly and passing things, and everlasting treasures instead of those that perish, and you shall live forever.
Tomorrow, join us for a reflection on Holy Tuesday and Where Are You Going?