John 12: 1-11
We are now entering the week commemorating the most significant event in world history: Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus had tried in so many ways to tell people who he was, plainly and in metaphor, yet not even his closest disciples had understood. In these verses we find someone who did understand. Mary, in an act of bold, extravagant worship, anointed the feet of Jesus with a perfume of the essence of spikenard, worth 300 denari, nearly a year’s wages. It was not only worship, but also an act of great love for Jesus, as in humility she bowed to anoint his feet and wipe them with her hair.
Mary’s act was such a contrast to that of Judas in this scene. Greedy Judas, always thinking of money and power, who would soon betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Mary will always be remembered for her act of love and Judas for his act of pure greed. The eyes of Judas were always on the world, but Mary kept her eyes on Jesus, often sitting at his feet.
It is also interesting to note that the text tells us that the fragrance of the perfume filled the house. Money and power and striving are not how we truly make a difference in the world. Lasting influence comes through love, the kind that is found in Jesus and through Jesus, a love that we find here in Mary’s beautiful gesture.
(c) 2015 Diana Beaudry