Christ in the House of Simon by Dieric Bouts, 1440s (Staatliche Museen, Berlin) | Public Domain

 

First reading Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is my chosen one in whom my soul delights

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.
 
He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.
 
Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.
 
Thus says God, the Lord,
he who created the heavens and spread them out,
who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
who gave breath to its people
and life to the creatures that move in it:
 
‘I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
 
‘to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 26(27):1-3,13-14

The Lord is my light and my help.
 
The Lord is my light and my help;
  whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
  before whom shall I shrink?
 
The Lord is my light and my help.
 
When evil-doers draw near
  to devour my flesh,
it is they, my enemies and foes,
  who stumble and fall.
 
The Lord is my light and my help.
 
Though an army encamp against me
  my heart would not fear.
Though war break out against me
  even then would I trust.
 
The Lord is my light and my help.
 
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
  in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
  Hope in the Lord!
 
The Lord is my light and my help.
 

Gospel Acclamation

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Hail to you, our King!
You alone have had compassion on our sins.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
 

Gospel John 12:1-11

‘She had to keep this scent for the day of my burial’

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.
 
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To be with Jesus, our Friend

We start the Holy Week with Jesus surrounding Himself with His friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Each of them did their best to express  their loving affection for Jesus. Martha expressed her love for Jesus by cooking a meal. Lazarus sat at the table in companionship with  Jesus. Mary showed her love for Jesus by anointing His feet with expensive ointment. When Judas criticised Mary, Jesus defended her. He recognised that her gesture of tenderness was a sign of support and strength for the difficult path ahead. In fact, each of these siblings, in their own ways, was a source of comfort and refuge for Jesus in His darkest moment.
 
Many people around us are living in the darkness of uncertainty and fear. In this Holy Week, we are invited to be a source of comfort and  refuge by offering our friendship, talents, time, etc. No gesture is too small when done with love. When we give of ourselves to them, it is  Jesus that we are loving.
 
Question for reflection:
What are the concrete ways can I show my love to Jesus today?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.