Faith Daily | 29 March 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Until Thursday Evening
Almighty and everlasting God,
of your tender love towards us
you sent your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
to take upon him our flesh,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
that all should follow the example of his great humility:
that we may both follow the example of his patience,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 12: 1-11
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Glynn Holland-Leam
Today’s reading is truly one of the most sense-rich expressions of loving Jesus we can find in the gospels and is found in the context of one of the most emotionally expressive gospel narratives as well. Why is Jesus eating with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus?
In the preceding chapter we read the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, a powerful sign of who Jesus is and the scripture from which we hear the phrase “Jesus wept.” He was not alone in weeping - for Mary, Martha and many others were mourning the loss of Lazarus, all the more so as they knew that Jesus had the power to heal him of this illness had he only arrived sooner. This great sign is followed by reporting the beginnings of the plot to kill Jesus – life juxtaposed with the desire to cause death.
In this liminal place where both are present and the journey to the cross hangs over Christ in the gospel and us in Lent we see a most loving sign of devotion. Mary, with nearly half a kilo of pure nard, shows an overflowing love for Jesus that spares no measure. She anoints his feet and wipes them with her hair, there is no shame and no measure too great to express her love, devotion, and thankfulness to him who brought life into so dark a place of loss.
May we share in this abundant love for Jesus and each other in this journey of Holy Week, as we journey with Christ to the cross – and beyond.
FINAL PRAYER: Jim Cotter “Unfolding the Living Word”
revealing to us our true humanity in Jesus,
evoke in our hearts and deeds a generosity
that gives beyond the bounds of common sense
and offends the crabby and mean.
We pray this in the Spirit of the One
who indeed bore the cost of love,
enduring to the end,
and is alive in us and in you for ever.