Isaiah 42:1-7; Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14; John 12:1-11
WHY WAS THIS OIL NOT SOLD FOR THREE HUNDRED DAYS’ WAGES AND GIVEN TO THE POOR?
From this question we will come to understand the worth of the oil that Mary was anointing at the feet of Jesus. Her action showed a great measure of love.
▪Ordinarily Jesus never encouraged waste anytime and anywhere. Today He allowed what Judas interpreted as waste of economy. The action of Mary elicited many reactions: for Judas it was a wasteful venture; for the Pharisees it was scandalous allowing such a sinful woman to touch Him, (c.f. Luke 7:39). Only Jesus gave it a different interpretation – He saw an expression of love and contrition.
▪Our Lenten Season is coming to its end this week. Even though the coronavirus pandemic has altered everything we planned to do during this Lent, let us use this Holy Week to examine how far we have gone. Has there been a change of heart in us? Are we better than we were at the beginning of the Lenten Season? If so, then we are on a right track; if not, we still have a chance to do better.
▪Judas would have used this week to have a change of heart, but he kept seeing things the same way. I was discussing with a priest who told me that he was just planning to get married. In fact, he was almost there when he decided to go for the stations of the cross a time like this week, in his words, “I heard Jesus telling me that He needs me.” He told his fiancee the following day that Jesus wants him. We may see his decision from different positions, but only Jesus will give it a proper interpretation.
▪Just as Mary spent such a costly oil at the feet of Jesus, and used her hair, which is part of the beauty of a woman to wipe His feet, we are called this week to give up what is precious for us at the feet of Jesus. Whatever we do for the sake of God may be interpreted in many ways, but only God knows our hearts; and only Him knows the worth of what we have given up for His sake.
▪Dear friend, may we remember that God is still our light and salvation, therefore, let us not be afraid of anything; of giving up our time, energy, talent and other things in order to please Him. Now that we are all facing challenges, may we spend this oil at the feet of Jesus by thinking about the needy around us this week. May God bless us with a fruitful Holy Week. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
We all may not have costly oil like Mary, but we have costly things around us which we can give up for the sake of God. Our time, energy, talent and other things, are the oil with which we can anoint the feet of Jesus.
May God bless and protect you and your family from harm
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Stowe and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA