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Msgr. Esseff reflects on the reading for the Monday of Holy Week 2020. He also speaks of Sr. Gertrude, superior of the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative Sisters in Bronx, NY., and her death recently from complications from Covid-19. He helps us enter the mystery found in Holy Week 2020.
Gospel JN 12:1-11
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
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.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.
1 thought on “We now enter into Holy Week – Daily Spiritual Counsel Through This Time of Pandemic – Msgr. John Esseff Podcast”
Over twenty years ago a few of us served as chaperones for a group of high schoolers as we traveled to the Bronx on a missionary experience. One of the sites where we worked happened to be a location where the Missionary Sisters of Charity Contemplative served the needy.
The sisters welcomed the strangers by feeding the hungry and offering them drink.
These wonderful women started early in the morning by scrubbing the facility with a solution of Clorox and water …… top to bottom. Some worked in the kitchen cooking while others cleaned. Other sisters prepared the dining room for their honored guests. The sisters prayed the rosary in unison the entire day except for a period of time during which mass was celebrated. They were arguably the happiest people I have every been with.
As time went on one by one the guests arrived. Out on the street people would shy away from them……not even looking at their faces. But once inside the dining room, they were treated like royalty as the sisters waited on them hand and foot.
Like St. Benedict, the sisters welcomed the stranger as though he were Christ.
In fact it was not until the end of the day that the sisters stopped So they could share a meal.
I do not know if Sister Gertrude was part of that community during our visit, but I truly believe she too recognized Christ in the needy.
Let us pray for Sister Gertrude that she may be seated at the Heavenly Banquet.