Lenten Reflection for 3/25

Monday of Holy Week

Daily Prayer

Dearest Savior, grief is like a vise that closes in on our hearts. Still, grief can also become an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, broken and used to anoint others. Let our grief open our hearts in compassion to the suffering of others. Amen

Scripture Readings

Isaiah 42:1-7; John 12:1-11
(Click for today’s Readings.)

Scripture Quote

John 12:3

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.


When we read about this gift of spikenard, a spicy, aromatic oil, we are reminded of Jesus’ birth when the wise men of the East brought three expensive gifts. They brought gold, representing His royalty as the heir of King David. They brought frankincense, used in religious rituals as a burnt offering, representing His divinity. And they brought myrrh, used for embalming, representing His humanity. The gifts showed that Jesus was king, God and man.

The spikenard is an expensive oil. Mary foresaw that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die. By applying the spikenard to His feet herself, instead of having a servant do it, and by drying His feet with her hair, Mary demonstrated a deep act of humility.

Reflection Questions

How will I remember that Jesus is a king who suffered for me and all humanity?

What can I do during these final days of Lent to better prepare myself to celebrate the Resurrection?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.