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Monday of Holy Week

Monday April 14, 2025

Daily Mass Readings for Monday of Holy Week

  • First Reading - Isaiah 42:1-7: God celebrates His servant, filled with His Spirit, to bring justice globally with gentleness and without fanfare. Appointed as a beacon for nations, he'll liberate captives and enlighten the blind, fulfilling God's righteous mission.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 27: The Lord is my beacon and protector, eliminating all fear. Enemies may approach, but they will falter. Amidst conflict, my heart remains steadfast in His trust, anticipating His goodness in this life. Courageously, I await the Lord's timing.
  • Gospel - John 12:1-11: In Bethany, Mary anointed Jesus with expensive oil, a gesture criticized by Judas but defended by Jesus as preparation for his burial. The miracle of Lazarus's resurrection attracted many, leading to a plot against Lazarus too, as his life testified to Jesus's power, convincing many to believe.

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

John 12:3

Themes for the Readings for Monday of Holy Week

For Monday of Holy Week, the readings from Isaiah and John bring forward several profound themes that are central not only to Holy Week but also to the Christian faith as a whole. Here are the key themes:

  • Servanthood and Humility: Isaiah's prophecy about the servant of the Lord who brings justice to the nations in a gentle and quiet manner highlights the importance of servanthood and humility. This is mirrored in the Gospel where Jesus, the servant par excellence, allows Mary to anoint him, displaying humility and acceptance of his role as the suffering servant.
  • Sacrifice and Preparation for Burial: Mary's anointing of Jesus with expensive perfume foreshadows Jesus' impending death and burial. This act of love and sacrifice points to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus is about to make for humanity's salvation.
  • Justice and Liberation: The first reading speaks about the servant's mission to bring forth justice and to liberate those who are imprisoned or in darkness. This theme of liberation and justice runs through the core of Holy Week as Jesus works to free humanity from the bondage of sin and death.
  • The Power of Testimony and Belief: Lazarus's resurrection and the subsequent belief of many in Jesus highlight the power of testimony and the miracles of Jesus. The plot against Lazarus underscores the threat that Jesus' message and miracles posed to the status quo, prompting a deeper reflection on belief, witness, and the cost of discipleship.
  • Light Overcoming Darkness: The servant in Isaiah is described as a light for the nations, tasked with opening the eyes of the blind. This theme of light overcoming darkness is central to the Easter story, culminating in the Resurrection.
  • Contrast Between True and False Discipleship: The criticism by Judas of the anointing contrasts sharply with the genuine devotion shown by Mary. This juxtaposition invites reflection on the nature of true discipleship and the motives that drive our actions.

These themes guide the faithful in reflection during Holy Week, emphasizing humility, service, sacrifice, and the transformative power of Jesus' death and resurrection. They also challenge believers to consider their own roles as servants and witnesses to the light of Christ in the world.

Thoughts for Monday of Holy Week

As we read the gospel for Monday of Holy Week, we are struck by the extravagant love and devotion shown by Mary towards Jesus. She takes a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard and anoints Jesus' feet with it, then wipes his feet with her hair. This act of love is a foreshadowing of Jesus' imminent death and burial, and it is a poignant reminder of the deep connection between love and sacrifice.

In this story, we see the contrast between Mary's selfless act of love and the greed and selfishness of Judas Iscariot. Judas complains that the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor, but Jesus rebukes him, saying, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

This passage challenges us to consider our own priorities and values. Do we prioritize our own comfort and convenience, or are we willing to make sacrifices for the sake of others, especially those who are most in need? Are we willing to give generously and selflessly, or do we hold back out of fear or greed?

As we continue to journey through Holy Week, let us pray for the grace to follow the example of Mary of Bethany, to offer our most precious gifts to Jesus with selfless love and devotion, and to embrace the call to love and serve others with humility and generosity. May we always keep our eyes fixed on Christ, who gave everything for our sake, and who invites us to share in his eternal love and life.


Lord Jesus, as we reflect on the story of Mary of Bethany anointing your feet, we pray that we may also offer our lives to you with selfless love and devotion. May we follow your example of sacrificial love and generosity, and may we always keep our hearts and minds fixed on you. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Monday of Holy Week

Word on Fire: An Extravagant Gesture

Bishop Robert Barron reflects on the Gospel for Monday of Holy Week, focusing on Mary of Bethany's anointing of Jesus. He interprets this act of extravagant generosity as a prelude to Jesus' ultimate self-giving. Criticized by Judas, this gesture transcends mere moral reasoning, embodying the essence of Jesus' mission: a total, lavish, and unconditional self-sacrifice. Barron suggests this act, flowing from deep faith and love, sets the tone for understanding the radical nature of Jesus' passion and death.

USCCB Reflection: Reaching Out

This USCCB video reflection for Monday of Holy Week shares a personal story of an encounter with Pope Saint John Paul II, illustrating the theme of God's intimate grasp on us. Despite a crowded scene, a moment of personal connection with the Pope symbolizes God's personal touch amidst life's distractions. This week, believers are invited to seek this intimate grasp through reflection, reconciliation, and participation in the sacred mysteries of Holy Week. Emphasizing the significance of this time, the reflection encourages engaging with the story of salvation and the Eucharist, reminding us of God's healing, mercy, and the profound gift of faith.

Frequently Asked Questions for Monday of Holy Week

What date is Monday of Holy Week?

The next date is Monday April 14, 2025.

What are the Mass readings for Monday of Holy Week?

The Mass readings for Monday April 14, 2025 are:
First Reading - Isaiah 42:1-7: Prophecy of the Coming Servant
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 27: The Lord is My Light and My Salvation
Gospel John 12:1-11: Mary of Bethany Anoints Jesus' Feet

What is the significance of Monday of Holy Week?

Monday of Holy Week marks the beginning of Jesus' journey towards the Cross. It is a time for Christians to reflect on themes of servanthood, humility, and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus is preparing to make for the salvation of humanity. The readings for this day, from Isaiah and the Gospel of John, highlight the gentle justice of God's servant and the act of love and preparation for Jesus' burial by Mary of Bethany.

How should Christians observe Monday of Holy Week?

Christians are encouraged to observe Monday of Holy Week by reflecting on their own lives in light of the humility and servanthood of Jesus. It's a time to meditate on the significance of Jesus' sacrifice and to prepare one's heart for the events of Holy Week. Engaging with the Scripture readings for the day, prayer, and acts of service are meaningful ways to honor this day.

Why is the anointing of Jesus by Mary significant on Monday of Holy Week?

The anointing of Jesus by Mary on Monday of Holy Week is significant because it symbolizes the preparation for Jesus' burial and foreshadows his death on the Cross. This act of love and sacrifice from Mary demonstrates deep devotion and acknowledges Jesus' mission and the sacrifice he is about to make. It invites believers to consider the depth of Jesus' love for humanity and the meaning of true discipleship.

What lessons can we learn from the readings of Monday of Holy Week?

From the readings of Monday of Holy Week, we learn valuable lessons about humility, service, justice, and the power of testimony. Isaiah's portrayal of the servant of the Lord who brings justice without fanfare, and the Gospel account of Mary's anointing of Jesus, teach us about the importance of quiet service and the impact of sacrificial love. These readings encourage believers to live out their faith through acts of service, to seek justice, and to be witnesses to the light of Christ in the world.

How does the theme of light overcoming darkness manifest on Monday of Holy Week?

The theme of light overcoming darkness manifests on Monday of Holy Week through the prophecy of Isaiah about the servant who will be a light for the nations and open the eyes of the blind. This theme is further exemplified by Jesus' actions and the events leading up to his crucifixion. Despite the plotting against him and the darkness of betrayal, the light of Jesus' love, sacrifice, and the power of his resurrection promise to overcome all darkness.

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