Monday of Holy Week
(Isaiah 42:1-7; John 12:1-11)
In Luke’s gospel Mary sits as Jesus’ feet when he comes to her and Martha’s home. She listens to him teach. In today’s passage from John’s gospel Mary is again at Jesus’ feet in her home. But her role has changed. She now anoints Jesus for burial. Martha in both gospel scenes busies herself with service, and Mary in both chooses “the better part.”
Mary has the prophetic insight of realizing that Jesus will be dead soon. Because she also knows that he is the royal Messiah or “anointed one,” she gives him a lavish anointing. The narrator says that the fragrance from the oil filled the whole house. The image might be expanded to say that the fragrance filled the universe. The death Jesus is about to undergo will redeem humanity for all its sins.
We too might anoint Jesus in a sense. We can spare some time daily this week to meditate on the meaning for ourselves of Jesus death and resurrection. Through these events we know the Son of God. By these events we are freed from the guilt of our malicious acts. Because of these events we like Jesus are destined to glory.