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The Super Bowl is Near

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Gospel: John 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

NAB

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We all have a charism, a vocation, in which we flourish. Mine? The charism of hospitality. Making people feel at home when they walk in my door is something I adore. I consider it the highest compliment when someone props their feet up on our ottoman, with a glass of wine in hand, and says “cheers” because they feel at home in our company.

Mary may not have had wine, but she had costly perfumed oil and she shared it freely. She knew who was in her presence. How gracious was Jesus? How blessed was she? Yet, Judas the Iscariot and the chief priests mocked that extravagance, belittled her generosity and scorned Jesus’ actions.

But, we know how that all ended for them, don’t we?

Or, do we?

We’re about to hit high gear this week. The super bowl of liturgical weeks is upon us. The Triduum is near. How extravagant are we with our love for Jesus? When was the last time you wept while reading Scripture? Do you save those tears, that love, for just these seven days, or do you live it 365 days a year?

Guilty as charged right here. I have to be honest, sometimes I’m stingy with my love. I hold back my gifts. I cling tightly to those things which I think are mine. You might as well call me Judas. And, it’s not just about me holding back my gifts, but I’m sometimes afraid to generously share my forgiveness. Both Jesus and Pope Francis remind us of the beauty of mercy and its freeing power.

Of all weeks, of all days, this is the one to share all that you have generously. Share it without abandon, sweet sisters. Lean into Jesus’ suffering, cling tightly to His love, and leave your shortcomings at the foot of His cross.

Now is the time to get real. He wants nothing less.

Say a prayer for someone you’ve wronged, and say it with love.

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.

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