Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair …

Jn 12:3

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You recall that when Mary anointed the Lord’s feet, Judas Iscariot complained that this valuable oil could have been sold and the money given to the poor.  Jesus responded that the poor would always be with us.

What do we make of this?  Was this a callous comment by Jesus?  A selfish and prideful one?  Hardly.

It was a most instructive one.  It was a comment about love and its value.

Mary acted with love, pure and selfless love.  Jesus taught in his response that love is more valuable than money, than gold.  He who loves is rich.  He who is loved is also rich.

Love is the greatest treasure we possess … and it should be given freely.  It is a treasure that is never exhausted.  The more you give, the more you have of it. The more we give it, the richer the world.

Of course, exclusionary secularists do not understand this.  They are defaulted to money.  Money and power are the treasures for the secularists.  They believe that wages make the man and the woman.  Love has no value for the exclusionary secularist – all is power and wealth.

In the most fundamental ways, we show how far from wisdom we are.  How far from Christ we are.  How we cheapen life by our focus on money.  How we cheapen the dignity of the human person by placing power at the apex of our interests and life.  How destructive we are.  How ignorant of Christ’s teaching  How crass and hurtful to ourselves and others.  How far from intimacy and community we have moved?

Next time you are in a social gathering, look around.  Do you see more of Judas Iscariot than of Mary?  Do you see anyone who resembles Mary?  This is a caution to you, a renewal of the lesson Jesus gives us in this Gospel passage.

How shall you live?  As Mary?  Or as Judas Iscariot?

You know the culture you live in is tilted one way or the other.  What do you think about that?

Shalom.

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