Wednesday of Holy Week


One of the contrasts I have latched onto these final day of Lent is the contrast between Mary of Bethany and Judas Iscariot. With Mary and her siblings Martha and Lazarus, a hint of the lost sheep can be seen. Lazarus was raised from the dead, proof of the healing powers of Christ. Mary anoints Christ with the costly oil, and this is her endorsement of Jesus healing of her. With Mary one can see the penitent woman led astray by the leadership of the day, and brought back to God by Christ. Who are those that lead her astray, it was those of the likes of Judas. Judas is the one that betrays Christ. He is the one that submits to corruption, and in him there is a parallel with the corruption of much of the religious leadership of that day.There is the temple Priests corrupted in their dealings with Rome. There also are the Pharisees corrupted in their zeal for using God as a means to promote a political agenda. One also can add the corruption of the Roman empire with its religious philosophies, and the corrupt Herod. All were corrupted by the bags of money like the one Judas holds and sought to enrich. All were leaders that placed their desires above those people that were placed in their care. It is that corruption and that betrayal that Jesus rescues the lost sheep from. Those lost sheep are Lazarus, raised from the dead. They are Martha who devotes her days to serving the Lord who rescued her. He lost sheep is Mary who exclaims salvation and points to the one who delivered her. Here it is not simply an issue of right versus wrong. It  is those who betray God, and those who call out for salvation. Those penitent recognize their trouble, they recognize their faults and mistakes. They also call out to salvation, and recognize salvation. They can recognize  that the likes of Judas ran them into the thorns and thickets. They also realize that Jesus can and will set them free.

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