Readings: Isaiah 42:1–7; Psalm 27:1–3, 13–14; John 12:1–11
Today at the beginning of Holy Week we see the cracks starting to show in Judas’ relationship not only with Jesus, but with the other apostles and disciples, represented by John and by Mary, the sister of Margaret and Lazarus. Judas doesn’t think he owes anyone anything, and religion is just another way to line his wallet. He’s moving toward the logic of the Pharisees who see Our Lord as a liability (see John 11:46–53) and as someone who, along with Lazarus, must be eliminated as damage control because their theocracy is at risk. Soon Judas and the Pharisees will be making a deal at Jesus’ expense.
When there are cracks in a relationship with God or with others (and they’re often connected), a simple way to assess the damage and move toward reconciliation is to remember that love, unlike wheeling and dealing, is acknowledging that something has been received for no other reason than the love of the giver, who expects nothing in return. If there’s no love, or simply a love for self, the cracks soon start to form and to spread.
How can I be more aware of all that I have received out of love from God and from others and translate this into a simple love and concern for God and for others like Mary shows in the Gospel today? On Monday of Holy Week let’s examine ourselves and see if loving in imitation of the love we’ve been given or just failing into a veiled wheeling and dealing under the pretext of something else, like the poor, in the case of Judas, or the nation, in the case of the Pharisees.