April 6: Monday of Holy Week
Posted by Campus Ministry on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 6:00 AM PDT
My feet are tired today, after a long walk in the neighborhood. I imagine Jesus’ feet were tired. He had walked for a long time, crisscrossing throughout the land – teaching, healing, reconciling, feeding, liberating, calling disciples, making friends, and above all, proclaiming God’s love, justice, and mercy. Jesus’ feet had taken him to many places of encounter, where he embodied the message of God we hear in our first reading from the prophet Isaiah.
In that last week, before he makes his final journey into Jerusalem, before he is swept up so quickly into a confrontation which ends in death, he pauses again at the home of his beloved friends: Martha, Lazarus, and Mary. Perhaps Mary of Bethany anticipated the impending calamity, sensing that the powers that be were determined to kill him. Or maybe she just desired in that moment to move, to act, out of love for a weary beloved one. Whatever her motivation, she moves with care and extravagance, offering expensive perfumed oil for his feet, wiping them with her hair, a sign of deep intimacy and love. I imagine her doing this prayerfully: with a heart grateful for all the places where those feet led Jesus in his lifetime, and I see her praying for all the places his feet would take him in the days ahead. I watch Mary embodying what it means to love authentically, intimately, with the best we have to offer. I imagine that days later, Jesus remembered her as he knelt to wash his disciples’ feet, blessing the feet of friends that had traveled with him, and still had far to go.
As I consider tired feet today, I wish I could anoint the feet of the ones caring for our community and providing essential services. I imagine blessing their weary feet, praying for all the lives they touch each time they leave their home to serve our city’s most vulnerable (and all of us). I also imagine taking up the perfumed oil and anointing those who are sick. Those who are lonely. Those who are afraid. Those who are overwhelmed. Those who are brokenhearted. I imagine blessing all of us who are weary. I dream of each of us responding with extravagant intimacy to one another, just like Mary did, sharing love, kindness, tenderness, and offering one another wholeheartedly what is most precious and authentic. I imagine the fragrance of our loving kindness filling each of our homes. Our city. Our world.
I imagine Mary of Bethany, jar in hand, showing us how to live and love in our weary world.