Sunday, April 5, 2020

holy Monday

Welcome, on Monday morning, to the strangest Holy Week in any of our memories.

Please read the Gospel of John 12,.1-11.

This passage drops back a day from Palm Sunday to Jesus' visit to Mary, Martha and Lazarus, who he raised from the dead. They are eating together, but Mary takes the opportunity to wash Jesus' feet in fragrant oil and dry them with her hair.

It was the custom in that day to wash you're visitors' feet--but in water, not perfume.

Judas objects, saying the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. In John's gospel, Jesus already knows Judas will betray him and replies, "leave her alone, she bought it so she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

The feet of Jesus being washed by a woman is one of the few moments John shares with other gospels, but in the others, the woman is not named and it happens in different settings.

And Jesus was right: the poor are always with us. And in this pandemic crisis we should worry about the poor in many ways. The recession this will cause affects the poor more than it affects me or you. And they are more vulnerable to the virus than I am.

We must pray for them. But we must do more. I plan to give half of my check from the government, whenever it comes, to soup kitchens and IRIS, a group in New Haven that works with the poor and especially poor immigrants.

Consider what you can do for the poor that are always with us.

Consider Mary's devotion to Jesus.

Consider how bravely he faced death for the love of us all.

Consider and reflect on this Holy Monday.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.