Steps through Holy Week


Monday of Holy Week (Jn 12)Mary

We are familiar with the sisters Martha and Mary – Martha the one who rushes around serving whilst Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. (Lk 10) And here they are again in similar roles, but there seems to be a greater depth in both of their interactions.

Martha is again serving, but in this translation we read ‘waiting’ perhaps implying an intentionality to her service. Mary is no longer sitting passively at Jesus’ feet listening – she has taken the most costly and precious thing and poured out her love. Filling the house with the scent.

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 filled with the scent of the ointment.


Tuesday of Holy Week (Jn 13)

peter-denies-christ-Peter desires to follow Jesus. From the start he has been impetuous in his response – jumping into the water, stepping out of the boat. Here he is willing to lay down his life. Peter is the ‘rock’ on whom the church will be built, but first that desire is going to be purified by the cold hard reality of suffering and failure. Can Peter love beyond death?

Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Now you cannot follow me where I am going, but later you shall follow me.’

Peter said to him, ‘Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’

‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘In all truth I tell you, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’


Wednesday of Holy Week (Mtt 26)

Betrayal requires relationship. All of the disciples knew Jesus, were in relationship with him. All of them had the capacity to betray him. All of them wonder ‘Surely it will not be me?’

Judas, in this account, has already accepted the silver to betray Jesus. Already his focus has shifted from Jesus to himself.

When evening came he was at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating he said, ‘In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not me, Lord, surely?’  He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand judasinto the dish with me will betray me.  The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, ‘Not me, Rabbi, surely?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is you who say it.’

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