Monday, March 25, 2013
Mary of Bethany a Disciple of Jesus
On this Monday of Holy Week the Gospel reading for the Roman Catholic Church is John 12:1-11. Jesus is in the home of three people he is said to love. They are Martha, her sister Mary and their brother Lazarus. Mary anoints Jesus' feet with nard, a very expensive aromatic ointment. Judas is angry because of the extravagance of Mary's act of love and kindness to Jesus. Many times when this story is told Jesus response to Judas, "you will always have the poor with you" is the story remembered. And while that may be true the love Mary has shown for her friend is what I choose to remember. In John 13:15 Jesus demonstrates a model of service by washing the feet of his followers and in 13:35 Jesus is reported to say to those with him that everyone will know that they are his disciples if they have love for each other. Gail R. O' Day says in The Women's Bible Commentary, "Mary models what it means to be a disciple: to serve, to love one another, to share in Jesus' death." This is not the first time Mary has modeled discipleship. In Luke 10:39 Mary is pictured sitting at the feet of her friend as a disciple would sit at a Rabbis feet. On this Monday of Holy Week I celebrate the disciple and friend of Jesus, Mary of Bethany and all the women who are disciples and friends.