Monday, April 1, 1996
when only "fanaticism" will do
"Mary brought a pound of costly perfume made from genuine aromatic nard, with which she anointed Jesus' feet. Then she dried His feet with her hair." —John 12:3
Mary of Bethany chose the better part (Lk 10:42). She sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His words (Lk 10:39). Her sister Martha criticized her for not helping prepare the meal, but Jesus defended Mary (Lk 10:41-42).
Mary of Bethany chose the better part. To show her love for Jesus, she poured out on His feet several thousand dollars worth of perfume (Jn 12:3-5). Judas criticized her for such extravagant waste, but Jesus defended Mary (Jn 12:7).
The Church, through its choice of today's eucharistic readings, puts Mary of Bethany before us as a special example of the proper attitude toward Jesus and Holy Week. We should lavish our time, possessions, money, and lives on Jesus always—and even more so during Holy Week. After we realize that He poured out His life on Calvary for love of us, what else can we do?
This Holy Week, may we merit criticism for our supposed "fanaticism." May we throw ourselves at Jesus as if He were God, because He is God. Then, when we are criticized, Jesus will defend us as He did with Mary of Bethany. Some of those whom Jesus criticized for criticizing us will become great saints like Martha, while others may die tragic deaths as Judas did. This Holy Week, be holy and "wholly" His. Be like Mary of Bethany.
Prayer: Father, grant me the grace to destroy strongholds of the evil one this Holy Week (see 2 Cor 10:4).
Promise: "I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness." —Is 42:6-7
Praise: Joe thought his grandmother was a little eccentric with all the religious literature she gave him—until one of the papers opened his heart to the Lord.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Evangelism As Worship.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995