Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent Lundi Saint, année ’B’

“I say what the Father teaches me and He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases the Father.”
Friday 27 March 2015 — Latest update Sunday 24 January 2016

Nb. 21, 4b-9 Ps 101 Jn. 8, 21-30

Monday of Holy Week 21st March 2016

“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.”

Is.42,1-7 Ps.26 Jn.12,1-11

“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 amongst 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 this ointment.”

Mary’s gesture is a prophetic one, and her coming contributes to the ’big entrance’ into Holy Week, where the Church celebrates the mystery of the Passion, Cross and Resurrection of Jesus.

The gesture of Love she accomplishes comes from the drama that is soon going to unfurl : the Bridegroom is going to ’enter into His Glory’ and he doesn’t move forward without a Bride at his side.

Jesus’ mother Mary stays in the background for Mary of Magdala. She will come running to the tomb on Easter morning.

Every woman is called to join the Bridegroom who is coming, to bear witness to her own flesh, in His flesh, to His immortal Life.

We are here before Mary’s desire. We want to go to follow Jesus who is going to save us. This desire corresponds to the desire of humanity, with all the love that is contained in this desire.

On this Monday of Holy Week, the Church meditates upon this recital of the gesture of Mary of Bethany who brings this vase of precious perfume as a sign of her love for Jesus.

It is with great Faith that we enter into Holy Week, and are going to celebrate the Paschal mystery. Mary breaks the vase of perfume of great confidence, a tradition of its quality, a perfume ’of great faith’. Its price is proof of its great quality and also when the vase is broken its scent is also proof of it. This mysterious meaning of the perfume of great faith is the entrance door to Holy Week.

"Then Judas Iscariot-one of his disciples, the one who was to betray him-said, ’Why was this ointment not 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 contents.

So Jesus said ’Leave her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial.You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’ "

Without even mentioning the woman, Judas of Iscariot denounces harshly this gesture Mary makes. His remarks illustrate the worse accusations : one made for religious and humanitarian motivations, to come to the rescue of the poor!

At the start of this Holy Week, a man and a woman who are united manifest how humanity goes through accusation and the ferocious world in order to appear in their eternal beauty.

Christian faith is a loving knowledge of Christ. In His death Christ reveals to us the Love of the Father for all men, ’the poor of the Lord’, ’the humble on this earth’.

The one who lets himself be taken up by the Love of Christ, giving him all one’s Love can do nothing but wash the feet of his disciples. Judas refuses to open up, as he will refuse the possibility of forgiveness after the betrayal since he hangs himself.

Nourished by God’s Word, we enter into a new faith, of great price, that can’t be meddled with.

“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.”

Mary of Bethany draws our attention to the human person : body and soul. She herself is evoked being referred to in her body, by her strong gestures : an unction by means of perfumed oil.

Jesus will take up Mary’s gesture : he will wash the feet of his disciples and will wipe them as Mary did. This woman had bathed a man’s feet with perfume, to manifest his body as Son, as Christ the Bridegroom.

Jesus, who washes the feet of his own people so that they ’will have a part’ of the dynamism on Easter morning.

If in the world there are so man wars and so much suffering, it is because humanity has lost the joy of loving God. It truly is extraordinary, this Loving tenderness of God for us. It helps s to keep our hearts pure. It helps us also how to love other people.

When we look at the tabernacle, we come to an understanding of how Jesus loves us at this very moment. He will accomplish Salvation by saving us by his Cross, and he will be raised up into the Glory of the Father.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, carries all this in the silence of her heart.

We ask for the grace to enter into the desire of Jesus and to follow him as Mary did, with a completely renewed love.

TUESDAY of the 5th Week of Lent, year B

“Again Jesus said to them : ’I am going away; you will look for ma and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come. ’ So the Jews said to one another, ’Is he going to kill himself, that he says ’Where I am going, you cannot come. ? ’Jesus went on : You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

Jesus never stops saying that the mystery of God is one of Love, but the Jews remain in a state of misunderstanding when it comes to dealing with Jesus. The people of Israel deported into Egypt and undergone a harsh slavery and once freed they had continue to recriminate against God. This “materiel” slavery was the sign of a slavery much deeper, the slave of sin. This misunderstanding due t a closing in on oneself lasts still today in many people especially in those who ar suffering and do not welcome him. Yet Jesus does only good in gentleness and in the Tenderness of God, and this before the hardness of heart of theses who had taken hold of the Law and believe that they serve God when in contestation. ’I am going away’ says Jesus, ’ you shall seek me but shall die in your sin.’ Hearing the message of Jesus, His Love, peace and gentleness is already a step to being healed. But how hard it is to hear the most incredible secret, that of God’s Infinite Love!

"So they said to him, ’Who are you?’ Jesus answered, ’What I have told you from the outset. About you I have much to say and much to judge; but the one who sent me is true, and what I declare to the world I have learnt from him.They did not recognize that he was talking to them about the Father.’

Yet God has freed his people, leading Moses for him to be purified in the desert. But here again we see him recriminate against God! Accusing God as though he

wanted to hurt him. There is something impossible to understand between this language of this people with their hardened neck, hardened hearts, and the message of Love of the Heart of Jesus who is gentle and compassionate. Fortunately Mary will be there when Jesus will be weak and in agony so as to join us in our weakness, she will be present to her crucified Son for us. There for Jesus who will be condemned to death and who saves us by His Cross. Mary perceives this combat that si Jesus’ for his people she violence and hatred against her Son the Only Son of the Father! Her heart is broken. “God is Love.” but this love can only be received through a desire, an expectation, Jesus wants to free humanity from the slavery of the liar so that it becomes itself, that it may find once more the thirst for God so as to become free once more.

“so Jesus daid, ’When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of my own accord? What I say is what the Father has taught me; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases Him.’ As he was saying this, many came to believe in Him.”

Outside of God, humanity cannot become itself. Everything it has received comes from Him, its future lies in God, the Saviour. The Most High, the Most Holy One, looke dat the earth to deliver captives and free those who were condemned to death. The coming of Jesus announces this deliverance : the Lord bent down from Heaven.He hears the complaint of those in capture, he wants to free his people from death. God lets Himself be touched by then vulnerability of his creature, in Jesus He will become this tiny little child, sharing humanity, the one in agony who wants to join humanity and get it out of its distress. Crucified, Jesus will always be ’I am ’ int his poverty that is nothing but Love. Mary is the first to have believed in Him, she let herself be touched by god, she was the first to cry out her thirst for love, her thirst to be loved.

Let us ask for the grace to join the goodness of the Heart of Jesus.