Lord, we pray that your grace
may always precede and follow us,
and make us continually to be given to all good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
from Psalm 72
For he shall deliver the poor that cry out,
the needy and those who have no helper.
He shall have pity on the weak and poor;
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,
and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live;
unto him may be given gold from Sheba;
may prayer be made for him continually
and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
standing thick upon the hilltops;
may its fruit flourish like Lebanon
and its grain grow like the grass of the field.
May his name remain for ever
and be established as long as the sun endures;
may all nations be blest in him
and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wonderful things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever.
May all the earth be filled with his glory.