Monday of Holy Week

April 6, 2020

IS 42:1-7/JN 12:1-11

The Prophet Isaiah shows God speaking to the people in their pain of exile, by an image of a servant who will bring justice not only to Israel but also to all nations. Justice is the central sign of a nation blessed by God. How is the servant to bring this justice to the earth? The answer is a surprising one; 

     “Not crying out, not shouting, 

      not making his voice heard in the street. 

      A bruised reed he shall not break, 

      and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 

     Until he establishes justice on the earth” (Is. 42:3-4).  

In other words, God does not save through force, power and violence, as people do, but through kindness, respect for others, the giving up of one’s own life. Isaiah speaks words of hope, since he reminds the lowly exiled people that God has not abandoned them and that He is indeed at work among them, restoring them to be a blessing. This reading draws us into a continuous reflection on the Father’s utmost love for us through Jesus, and especially through His journey to Calvary during this Holy Week in which the world is experiencing deep suffering. 

The Gospel presents us Mary and Judas who play divergent roles in our Lord's passion journey. One fills us with consolation and comfort; the other with restlessness and fear. Mary anoints the feet of her Savior and dries them with her hair in anticipation of His burial. Judas disapproves of Mary’s action as extravagance. Clearly, his disdain is driven by his selfish motives.  In our hearts, there can dwell two attitudes: a Judas-attitude and a Mary-attitude. As Mary, we can respond to Jesus with love, presence, and solace toward another. As Judas, we can give Jesus the traitor's kiss when we treat others with contempt, rejection, or indifference. 

Each can ask: how many times have I anointed Jesus’ feet or given him a traitor’s kiss? In this time of social distancing, in which we all experience fear, have I prayed for and been present to othersOffered time to someone who needs a listening ear? Have I thought of those most vulnerable? How can I be the one to anoint Jesus through this time we are living? 

We ought to be actors in the mystery of our salvation, not spectators. We need to be fully immersed in Jesus’s journey to Calvary, a journey that leads to full expression of God’s unconditional love for us and for the world.  


Sister Maria Elizabeth Nakku
Graduate student, School of Education