29th March 2021

John [12:1-11] Jesus Anointed at Bethany - YouTube


Reading 1: Is 42: 1-7 We hear at first of the Servant Songs from Isaiah — a prophecy of the Servant’s suffering, which will result in salvation for all.

Gospel: Jn 12: 1-11 John relates the details of Jesus’ last visit in the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus: Martha cooks, Mary pours out her precious ointment, Lazarus watches.


One of the bitterest experiences of life is being betrayed. Betrayal is serious because it destroys trust, and without trust there can be no relationship. Betrayal shakes a person to the core because it ruptures one’s ability to trust.

We have entered into Holy Week, the week of the Passover of the Lord. The liturgy today places before us, Jesus’ arrival in Bethany to visit Lazarus, Martha and Mary who had been his good friends for years. Mary welcomes Jesus and approaches him with a container of expensive perfumed ointment, cleansing his feet, anointing them with that exotic and expensive oil. During Jesus’s time, this act of washing the feet was a task reserved for slaves and servants, not for a member of the family. Mary not only washed Jesus’ feet, she also had the courage to dry his feet with her hair! What an intimate act!

Many of the guests were shocked. What was Mary thinking? Her action was completely inappropriate. However, no one spoke a word; no one, except Judas Iscariot. Judas asked why this expensive ointment had not been sold and the money given to the poor. It seems that he was in favour of the poor, but, in actuality, he intended to pocket the money himself. However, Jesus knew Judas’ heart. He still loved Judas, and was deeply saddened that Judas was no longer committed to him and to the gospel, but solely to himself. Jesus had lost a loved one and a follower, but Judas betrayed himself and his best friend just for a bag of coins!

We all have atleast one “Judas” in our lives, someone who has deeply hurt us. Are we open to forgiving the person? And if we it is too hard to forgive as of now, are we atleast willing to nurture the desire to do so, for the sake of Jesus, so that our hearts may open up to the pure love of God flowing from the pierced side of the crucified Saviour?

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 27: 1-3, 13-14 The Lord is my light and my salvation.

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