Today as we begin Holy Week, Anne O’Brien, our Director of Mission, reads from the Gospel of John (12: 1-11) in which Mary of Bethany anoints the feet of Jesus with nard, a costly perfume. Anne says, in today’s Gospel these powerful words, ‘You will not always have me…’, of Jesus are a chilling reminder that the end of his life on earth is near. Judas has expressed his disapproval of the waste of such precious oil, but Jesus knows he does not really care about the poor. Jesus sees into the hearts of Mary of Bethany and Judas and knows their true motives. Mary is expressing her love and support, but Judas is covering up his greed and dishonesty. Anne says this leads us to ponder in our heart what Jesus would see today? Am I honest enough to admit that I, too, am capable of greed and deceit – that my words sometimes may not match my actions? Today might be a good opportunity to open my heart to Jesus and seek God’s forgiveness before I set out on the road to Calvary. Judas chose to turn away from Jesus, but can I prepare myself to ‘hold firm and take heart’? In closing Anne, invites to join her in this prayer: Father, bless us as we journey through Holy Week, Purify us in mind, heart and soul, Grant us the humility and gentleness of Christ, your compassionate servant and Son, Grant us the generous and tender love of Mary of Bethany. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.