The WORD in others words (2022) by Fr Rodrigo Salac, Samal Island, Davao
Monday of Holy Week
Photo: Divine Word Seminary Tagaytay, Side Chapel
It is part of Jewish protocol for a host to provide water to wash the feet of a guest upon arrival. Mary did something extraordinary: she anointed the feet of Jesus with a costly perfumed oil and wiped them dry with her hair.
Judas was sarcastic about the waste of big money (equivalent to 300 days’ wages). For him, it was better if the aromatic oil was sold and the proceeds given to the poor. Jesus did not mind the comment of Judas but allowed Mary to go ahead and dedicate the ritual as an anointing of his body in preparation for his burial, so the gospel says.
However, looking at Mary’s tribute to Jesus in the light of John the Evangelist’s perspective, it is in fact a glorification of Jesus in preparation for his entry as triumphant king into Jerusalem (JBC p 148 Nos 128-130) which is the next episode (Jn 12:17-19) of our Gospel today (Jn 12:1-11).
Mary was able to offer her tribute because she knew Jesus, and anybody who knew Jesus would most likely do the same, if not more. Today, sad to say, Jesus is rejected so many times when he drops by. He comes hungry, thirsty, naked, etc., but he is driven away. Only a few cares.
This Holy Week we are asked to deeply contemplate on these words of Jesus “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me” (Mt 25:40) so that when Jesus comes to us incognito, we will recognize him and we will offer him our tribute as Mary did.