Holy Wednesday, April 8

Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper on the Wednesday before his death. While there with his disciples, a woman named Mary anointed Jesus’ head and feet with a costly oil of spikenard. The disciples were upset because they felt that this expensive oil could have been sold to help the poor. But, Jesus told them that Mary was doing a good thing. Jesus told them that Mary would be remembered for this act of love which prepared him for his burial.

The scripture for today highlights Jesus’ “trial” and his sentencing to death. The contrast between the behavior of Mary and that of Caiaphas are diametrically opposed. Mary recognized that she was in the presence of holiness. Caiaphas thought of Jesus as the enemy of Israel and the established Jewish religious tradition who needed to be eliminated. And, the difference between Jesus and Caiaphas is even greater.

There is a commentary that states:

Could there be a more striking contrast of the soul than that between Caiaphas and Jesus? Caiaphas dominant, Jesus strong in the strength of submission to God’s will; Caiaphas shrewd and a clever actor, Jesus guiltless in candor; Caiaphas the champion of entrenched systems, Jesus asking no haven but the wide sky of God’s verity; Caiaphas unscrupulous, Jesus patiently trusting in the unseen might of holy love. (The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 7, 1989)

On this Holy Wednesday, may we, like Mary, recognize when we are in the presence of holiness. And, like Jesus, may we patiently trust in the unseen might of God’s holy love.

Prayer: Gracious God, bless us to be known and remembered for our acts of love. Amen.

– Beverly J. Goines

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