Isaiah 42:1-7

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 

2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 

3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 

4 He will not fail or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 

5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 

6 “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 

7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 

John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 

2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 

4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 

5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 

6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have 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 on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.


ISAIAH THE PROPHET portrays the Savior as a strong and yet a gentle figure who will go about doing God’s work of healing with grace and humility! The weak he will treat with gentleness and those whose faith has grown dim for whatever reason, He will bring back to life by being equitable and impartial. 

St JOHN’S GOSPEL takes us to the home of the two sisters of Lazarus. Martha already had a strong faith in Christ when she declared that Jesus was the Son of God (Jn 11:27) during their first encounter when she was mourning the death of her brother Lazarus. Today’s reading sees our Lord visit Bethany where the sisters and Lazarus are present. On this occasion our Lord is at table with Lazarus amongst the other apostles sharing a meal prepared by Martha. 

It was not uncommon for guests to be presented with water to wash their feet when they enter a home after a long journey.On this occasion Mary Magdalene is the servant who does an extraordinary work of humility when she uses expensive lard to anoint and dry the feet of Jesus with her hair! Mary’s gesture may appear to be imprudent, however it was an act of humility,love, kindness and gratitude! Moreover the anointing of our Lord signalled Jesus’ Kingship.The word Messiah is derived from the word “anointed” which denotes the office of a priest which also signified the Kingship of Christ Jesus. At this juncture Judas denounces the act of Martha with the pretense that he cared for the poor. Judas had for all intents and purposes connected all the events including the raising of Lazarus and now Jesus’ anointment as sure signs that Jesus is who He said He was. John defends the actions of Martha when he accuses Judas of being a selfish thief who did not really care about the poor! Judas’s love of money above all else, set in motion the hunt for both Jesus and Lazarus by the chief priests who saw the increase in the number of the followers of Christ as an affront that sought  to undermine their authority to rule over the people of Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene actions also signaled her task to embalm our Lords body when He is laid to rest.

During this time of our lives we have seen those who hold political office abuse their power to oppress the Christian faithful who congregate and go about doing God’s work. In some way we the laity are not unlike Judas who covertly undermined God’s work of grace, mercy and forgiveness when we don’t care for the poor or make an effort to adore the King of Kings when worship and adoration opportunities are made available to us by brave pastors and bishops who refuse Satan the opportunity to rob us from our salvation. We are called to be a light unto others and like Martha, Mary and Lazarus be in service of Christ Jesus.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 27:1-3,13-14

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. 3 Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arises against me, yet I will be confident.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! 

14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD! 

catholicwitnessct@gmail.com    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast

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