Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary 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. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not 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 kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When 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. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Love Jan Richardson’s art – reminded by Mama:Monk of it for this week, and this first image is particularly riveting. It follows from yesterday’s post about listening. Something I don’t do very well when it comes to focusing. But, I hear:
The clatter of foodware as they dine together.
The rise and fall of forced conversation.
The quiet as Mary interrupts, walks in and kneels at Jesus’ feet.
The click of the pin that holds up her coming undone as her hair falls to the floor.
Broken shards of pottery.
Gasps and harsh whispers.
Here is the end of Jan’s reflection for this Monday:
For now, we wait. With hope. With longing. With a patience that is not passive but that enables us to perceive where God may be calling us to act for the healing of the world. “See, the former things have come to pass,” today’s passage from Isaiah tells us at its close, “and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.” On this Holy Monday, what new thing do you yearn for? What will you do to help prepare a way for it to appear upon the earth?
The display of yearning in Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet strikes me. And Jan’s words, again, here a prayer:
Blessing for Holy Monday
May the path
that Christ walks
to bring justice
upon the earth,
to bring light
to those who sit
to bring out those
who live in bondage,
to bring new things
to all creation:
may this path
run through our life.
May we be
the road Christ takes.