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Holy Week and Money

For fifty years, I’ve attended Palm Sunday services. Every service has featured a Passion Play. This Palm Sunday, thanks to the presentation co-produced by Virginia Ralph, I heard something different. Actually, I heard many things differently. I’ll share them with you this Holy Week, beginning with the anointing of Jesus.

I’d always heard this scene, where the woman breaks the alabaster jar and pours ointment on Jesus’s head, as one primarily of foreshadowing: Jesus, about to die, has his body anointed for burial. This Palm Sunday, I heard the actual disagreement that occurred.

After the woman did her thing, the others were angry. To be specific, they were mad about the waste of money. They scolded her and argued with Jesus about money. Immediately thereafter, according to Mark, Judas betrayed Jesus for money. Speculation abounds over Judas’s motivations, but Mark wrote his Gospel where a rift over money is followed by a betrayal for money. I’d never before heard the pivotal role that money played in the Passion story.

How many of us, present at the most important spiritual moment of our lives, are sidetracked by thoughts of money?

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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