Prayer: Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish; come to the mercy seat; fervently kneel; here bring your wounded hearts’ here tell your anguish: earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal. Joy of the desolate, light of the straying, hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure! Here speaks the comforter, tenderly saying, earth has no sorrows that heaven can not cure. Here see the bread of life; see waters flowing forth from the throne of God, pure from above: come to the feast of love; come ever knowing earth has no sorrows but heaven can remove. Amen. (Thomas Hastings 1784 – 1872 Public Domain).
This portion of the Gospel is in sharp contrast to yesterday’s reading. Yesterday, the High Priest and Elders were plotting against Jesus. Today Jesus and the disciples are “at table” sharing a meal together at the home of Simon the leper. We don’t know who Simon the leper was other than his name and designation. Even though Simon was designated Simon the leper, he was more than likely Simon the Cured Leper. To eat with a leper would have made Jesus and the disciples unclean. To eat at the home of a cured leper would keep Jesus and the disciples clean in the eyes of the Torah – especially during this time of the Passover.
Then an unnamed woman comes along and pours some very expensive ointment over Jesus’ head. Who is this woman? We don’t know as the Gospel does not say but we do know she was not a slave nor a servant as it is made very clear that it was A WOMAN.
The Disciples are indignant. Pouring expensive ointment over Jesus’ head. What a waste of resources and finances that could have been used to help the poor.
But Jesus says to the Disciples (and us today!) five important things:
1. Why do you trouble the woman. No matter the gift, when someone wants to give something in the name of Jesus, don’t say their gift is too small or could be used for something else! Let the person give their gift to Jesus.
2. For she has done a beautiful thing to Jesus. What “beautiful thing” have you done for Jesus?
3. For you always have the poor with you but you will not always have Me.
4. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.
5. Truly, I say to you, wherever this Gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her. What memory will the world have of you being a follower of Christ? Ask yourself three questions: What have I done for Christ, What am I doing for Christ today, and what ought I to do for Christ today.
Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins from my heart, have mercy upon me. Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world, grant us Your peace. As we live out our life in Your name today, help us to ask ourselves “What have I done for Christ?” “What am I doing for Christ today?” What ought I to do for You today”? Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world, grant us Your grace. Amen.