Jesus had an incredible way of truly seeing people, never with contempt or disdain. We see it this night, when Jesus meets the disciples’ fear with love, when he confronts Judas’ betrayal, with love. We must never forget that the opposite of love is not anger or hostility but indifference or fear. The opposite of fear is love.
“The feeding of a multitude is told six times in the Gospels—twice in Mark and Matthew, and once each in Luke and John. Long before the Last Supper, Jesus was taking, blessing, breaking, and sharing bread with his disciples and the crowds that followed him. This Gospel story is said to be a miracle or a sign and it’s a miracle or a sign that can be interpreted in many ways. I’m compelled by the interpretations that suggest the feeding of the multitude, the stories of loaves and fishes, are miracles of sharing.”
“Christian pilgrimage can and should be a walk with Jesus. And that is necessarily a walk in kingdom territory, under those upside-down kingdom rules. The pilgrim road is a physical peninsula of the kingdom. As the kingdom sprang up around the sandals of Jesus, so kingdom flowers can spring up around pilgrim boots.”
In tonight’s Gospel, we hear about Mary and Martha welcoming Jesus into their home after Jesus raised their brother Lazarus from the dead. It is a celebratory gathering, as you might expect, in the wake of a family member’s resurrection from death. But, as would be expected in a Gospel that kicks off Holy Week, there is an element of gravity too; Judas questions the actions of Mary, who showed ultimate respect for Jesus by washing his feet—with her hair—using expensive perfume.