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First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
Gospel: John 12:1-11
The readings for our first weekday of Holy Week prepare us for the sacri-
fice on Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter by focusing on three
subjects: the primacy of the greatest commandment, the need to recog-
nize when God is among us, and the spirit of the second great command-
The first paragraph of the first reading and the responsorial psalm make
clear what the reading from the Gospel of John proclaims: Jesus is the
Chosen One of God, our Light and Salvation. His very name in Hebrew
means the Lord is salvation. The Gospel reading describes the dinner at
Bethany after Jesus has performed His greatest sign: the raising of Lazarus.
Lazarus is even at table with Jesus. The scene in one sense, how-
ever, is unremarkable. In the immediately preceding chapter of
John, Martha had proclaimed her belief that Jesus was the Mes-
siah, the Son of God
Jesus raised Lazarus. Martha’s faith
had allowed her to see clearly before Jesus worked his greatest
sign what the Pharisees, blinded by their worldly concerns, cannot
see after.
John’s Gospel continues in its description of the devotion of Mar-
tha’s sister, Mary, to Jesus through her anointment of Him. Judas’
response to the anointment, and Jesus’ rebuke of Judas, is in-
structive in multiple manners. In one sense, it is not important if
Judas does not care about the poor. Like the parable of the two
sons in Matthew 21:28-31, an unsympathetic Judas would still
obey the second great commandment and be a light unto the na-
tions by giving the contributions from the money bag to the poor.
Instead Judas steals the money.