As we begin Holy Week, our focus turns to the events leading up to Easter Sunday. The lectionary passages for Holy Week are contained in John’s gospel as we see the events unfold through his perspective. Notice who John identifies as being sought after for execution. Lazarus who was raised from the dead only to be sought after because he was as a threat to the religious leaders. Jesus did not live an easy or comfortable life as today’s collect prayer announces. He never promised one for his followers either. Misunderstanding. Threats. Undermining. All of these and more should be expected by his followers. Lavish acts of worship. Miraculous healings. True understanding of life. All of these and more should be expected by his followers as well.
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.John 12:1-11 NRSV
10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Collect for Holy Monday
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer