April 12

Read: John 12:1-8

What an image! The house reeking of expensive perfume; a woman rubbing her hair on Jesus’ feet.

I can’t help but sympathize with Judas’ scandalized response, despite the special care taken to cast aspersions on his motivations. Surely, he’s got a point. A year’s worth of wages could have fed quite a few people. Jesus’ feet hardly needed anointing in any palpable way. It was, in many regards, a frivolous, even indulgent and sensual, act.

But then, I think of 1 Corinthians: “If I have faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

The “keeper of the money bag” may have done the “greater good” towards more people even after skimming money from donations, but his actions were devoid of love, and therefore a pale shadow of the holy teachings.

The extravagant and almost comical way that Mary expressed her love and gratitude is not the essential element to me. Instead, it’s that she was expressing love wholeheartedly and without care for appearances.

It’s indubitably important to try to maximize our resources and help those in need. But our Christianity is bound primarily *in love*. In seeing Jesus in each other and rejoicing at our glimpses of god-in-man that we experience every single day in the ones we love. We can spread the deepest heart of Christianity merely by greeting every person in our lives with unrestrained joy.

Hold and celebrate your loved ones.

Jesus, help us to be lavish in our care of others. Amen.

-Adella Wright

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