“Here is my servant...my chosen one with whom I am pleased. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench.” Isaiah, writing from exile, sketches out the figure of the one who will end all exile. “I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice...” But where is the justice in what is unfolding in the Gospel accounts? How do we see a victory when we see Christ on the Cross? There are even those who bear the name Christian that consider it a defeat. Where do we see victory? At St. Alphonsus in Baltimore, there's a crucifix of Christ in the midst of His agony, eyes not on us but raised to His Father. Therein lies the victory – He did what we could not do, He did not cry out except to submit Himself wholly to the Father's will.
Coming back to the Gospel, Jesus is still on the way to Jerusalem. It is only days before Passover and He is at dinner with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. It is the last dinner with them, it is the last night before His entry into Jerusalem, and He knows that full well. John, looking back, knows it as well; he remembers every detail. “The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” Mary will look back on it also – it will be a memory she can treasure, to keep against the day of Jesus' burial. Judas only looks at the money lost.