MARCH 29. LENT. HOLY WEEK. MON. JN. 12. 1-11
Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said, ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contributions. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’
Meanwhile a large number of Jews heard that he was there and came not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well, since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.
A week before his coming death Jesus goes to the home of a friend whom he had raised from the dead! It is as if he was saying to us, “What more can I do for my people to convince them of my Divinity if they do not believe after three years of miracles, teachings and showing mercy and, finally, raising Lazarus from the dead?”
But now the time has finally come for the ultimate miracle, the standout miracle that would leave no doubt, not only for those around him who would witness it, but also for the millions upon millions of his people who would follow over the centuries.
He would submit to sacrificing his life on a Cross, in order to make Divine Reparation for all our sins; - and then he himself would rise from his tomb after being dead for three days!
And now it was time for a sign that the time for his death was fast approaching; - “ And Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment”.
And what happened? Judas, the very disciple who would betray Jesus, protested about so much money being spent on anointing The Son of God before his approaching death!
He was appalled at this wrong, while, at the same time he was planning a far greater wrong; - the betrayal of The Son of God?
And then we are informed about the actions of the chief priests who were unhappy that “It was on account of Lazarus that many of the Jews were leaving them; - and believing in Jesus!” So, what did they do?” – “The chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well?”
So, a week before his death there is a farewell dinner for Jesus, but even here, with Lazarus by his side, Christ continued to be under attack from his enemies; - people who refused to accept, or believe the teachings of someone who had clearly demonstrated his divine sonship!
The remarkable feature of this Gospel is the reason Jesus was about to sacrifice his life on a Cross! It was a desire to make reparation for the sins of all his enemies; - whom he still loves!