April 6: Monday of Holy Week

Master of Jean Rollin II, The Supper at Bethany, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, c. 1455

Gospel: John 12:1-11

Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair (NRSV, Jn 12:3a).

Let us pray.

Father, you speak to us, everyone of us who has every lived, at each moment of our lives, through your Word at the depth of our being. But that one Word is also made manifest and visible in many particular situations.

In the great sacrament of human existence, your Word is made flesh; he becomes a human being, in our Lord Jesus Christ. He shares our life, everything we are; he teaches us and heals us; he even passes through death with us.

Your Word is also visibly present in the world through the gathering of those who believe in him, your Church, as it proclaims your written Word contained in Sacred Scripture and celebrates your one saving work among us in sacramental actions, especially in baptism and the Eucharist.

Father, even from ancient times, kings and priests were set aside for your service through sacred anointing with oil. Prophets were understood to be anointed immediately by your Spirit.

The evangelists are in agreement that the Lord Jesus, after his baptism by John, was anointed by the Holy Spirit who descended upon him in the form of a dove. In baptism, and when we are confirmed in our ongoing faith in you, Father, we, your daughters and sons, are anointed with oil as a visible sign of our calling in the Holy Spirit. Your presbyters are likewise anointed with oil as are the sick and those facing the great passage through death.

Father, we are ever grateful to you for your presence in the Word and in the Spirit at our innermost being, uniting us all in one divine life, and for your visible presence in the Word made flesh and in the Church, in which we celebrate your sacraments.

As Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointed the feet of Jesus in preparation for his death, may we too anoint our sisters and brothers as they prepare for the journey through death and thus encourage them to join with the Word on this passage which can be for all their hour of glory.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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