Daily Reflection
March 25th, 2002
Roc O'Connor, S.J.
Theology Department and Campus Ministry
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Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
John 12:1-11

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..."

On this Monday of Holy Week we see Jesus at home with his friends, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary.  He certainly has had a complicated relationship with them recently.  Lazarus died and the sisters questioned him regarding his whereabouts.  Then Jesus, filled with deep feelings, called Lazarus forth from the tomb:  "Unbind him and set him free."  And now these four are dining together.  What must their conversation be like!

Moreover, Mary decides to pull out this lavish gift, this liter of aromatic nard.  She kneels at Jesus' feet and anoints his feet with oil and dries them with her hair.  And the fragrance of the ointment fills the room!

Notice that she's not weeping, not repenting, she's just offering Jesus a dear and kindly gift.  And the marvel is that he accepts it (much to the consternation of Judas).  Let us linger here a moment and attend to the care and love that she pours out on Jesus' feet, a mere six days before the Passover.

Could it be that Mary 'instructed' the Lord?  Could it be that she demonstrates a love and devotion that touched Jesus' heart in a special way?  It's amazing that, just a few days later, Jesus mirrors this same action.  He kneels at the feet of his disciples and washes their feet!  Could it be that the loving friendship he found in Mary's gesture offered an example for him to demonstrate his loving friendship for the disciples?

One of the marvelous phrases that is found in the first Preface for Lent can help us fix our eyes on Jesus this week.  It says, "As we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ, you bring the image of your Son to perfection within us."  [Just a note: "fullness" or "completion" is probably a better translation than "perfection."]

Maybe we learn some important things in life by receiving, not just by doing.  And maybe the true things in life, like love and friendship - discipleship! - are learned first by receiving.  Let us recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ and find that image of Jesus more complete in our lives.  Behold what God has done for us!

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