Gospel: John 12:1-11
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.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Private Intention (Welfare).
An aunt was once interviewed in a Catholic radio station in the Philippines. The radio presenter introduced her as someone who is rich. My aunt quickly added, “Rich in friends”. Indeed, she had a lot of friends – at work, in her hometown, and in the parish. If you are walking with her along the neighbourhood, do not be surprised if your journey takes a while – she would stop every time she meets a friend.
In today’s Gospel we read that Jesus stopped by His friends’ house. Each sibling was doing their part for their friend Jesus: Lazarus was reclining at table with Him, Martha was serving, and Mary anointed the Lord’s feet with “a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard… and dried them with her hair.” Each friend was happy to express their love for Jesus. Except Judas who used the poor as a lame excuse to criticize Mary’s extravagant gesture. Unlike the first three friends, Judas was a fair-weather friend. He “was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.” He would betray the Lord. For appreciating Jesus’ presence while He was with them, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary would later experience the joy of Christ’ resurrection. Judas, unfortunately, would not.
- What kind of friend are you?
- How far would you express your friendship with Jesus, especially this Holy Week?
- How do you regard the poor in your journey of faith?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Make us aware of the many moments You are stopping by in our homes, our communities, our lives. Like Mary, may we be generous in welcoming You and sharing Your friendship with others. Amen.
Suggested Lenten penance: Reconnect with a long-lost friend.