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Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus

pouring water into a bowl

By Fr. Don Hornsey

The joys and sorrows that occur in all our lives reflect the joys and sorrows that we will mark our participation in Holy Week. Friday we will hear other voices shouting ''Crucify him'' as we listen to the detailed account of the passion culminating in the death and burial of Jesus. We see the same emotions in the Gospel story of the dinner with the beloved friends of Jesus in Bethany, Lazarus, now restored to life, and his sisters Martha and Mary.

Statue of crying MadonnaIt began as a joyous occasion but was soon overshadowed by the signs of the impending death of Jesus. Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. She is criticized by Judas but Jesus defends her saying that she is anticipating the anointing of his body after death. And finally, the chief priests decide to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. Life and death, light and shadow are so often intertwined in our lives and the history of the world. But before His death, Jesus had a happy meal in Bethany. The darkness of Good Friday turns to the light of the Saturday Vigil as we enter the unlit church with our candles held on high. ''Jesus is risen'' is now our cry. The Cross tells us that Jesus is present in our difficulties and sufferings and the Resurrection urges us to have confidence and trust. The darker the sky, the more clearly we see the stars. 

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