MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK
GOSPEL. ST. JOHN xii, 1-9.
(The Anointing of Jesus by Mary and the Sixth Word on the Cross.)
Six days before the Pasch Jesus came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made Him a supper there: and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with Him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray Him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My burial. For the poor you have always with you: but Me you have not always. A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that he was there: and they came, not for Jesus s sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
The high-priest, Jesus, shortly before His death, permitted the penitent Mary Magdalene, as an act of love and reverence, to anoint His holy head with costly ointment, in preparation for His burial. For His sacred body it was a fulfillment of the words, “It is consummated.”
When He took the vinegar which was offered to Him on the cross, He uttered the holy word: “It is consummated.” The Scriptures were fulfilled, His divine mission was accomplished, His bitter passion was consummated. The honor of His heavenly Father was restored, the redemption of mankind was achieved, all the labor, humiliations and pains of His life on earth were at an end.
O Christian soul, would that you could say the same on the day of your death! But are you not rather filled with deep sadness and remorseful anxiety, when you call to mind the record of your past life? Has it been a life without virtue, with out improvement? Christian soul, do not despair. He who taught you to pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” He will help you to overcome all difficulties, if you begin today to do penance and if you do not refuse the hardships of a pious and virtuous life. Then you will be able calmly to look death in the face, and in your last hour heavenly peace will reign in your soul and, filled with gratitude towards God, you will exclaim with your Savior: “It is consummated.”
LET US PRAY.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who fail through our infirmity, in so many adversities may be relieved by the passion of Thy Son, making intercession for us.
O Divine Savior hanging on the cross, see the many dangers that surround our soul; with child like confidence we beseech Thee not to abandon us in the temptations of this life, but to help us to lead a life pleasing to Thee so that, at the end of our earthly career, we may joyfully exclaim with Thee: “It is consummated.” Amen.