I don’t know about you, but Holy Week usually finds me a little raw, emotionally. And looking at today’s Gospel reading, I guess I’m not alone. All the characters in that reading from John are experiencing a heightened sense of some emotion: The chief priests, the religious leaders of the Jews, were experiencing bitter jealousy. They hated that Jesus called them to task and they hated that so many were following him. They had even come to hate Lazarus because he had convinced many to follow Jesus after Jesus raised him from the dead.
Judas was beginning to experience fear and despair. Seeing how much Jesus was hated, I think Judas began to think he had hitched himself to the wrong wagon. He knew the chief priests were plotting to kill Jesus and so I think he began to greatly fear that he and the others could be next. He was right about that, but that’s a reading for another day.
And then we have Mary – this Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus one time while Martha served dinner, this Mary who couldn’t even come out of the house when Jesus came to see Lazarus, this Mary who now perhaps is understanding who Jesus was and why he cam – this Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with costly perfumed oil, a foreshadowing of the Chrism that will be consecrated tonight at the cathedral. Her emotion is sorrow, knowing that her Lord will soon give up his life.
Where does Holy Week find us these days? What emotions do we feel? What does the Passion of our Lord stir up in us?