Reading: John 12:1-11
Verse 3: “She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.”
As we begin Holy Week we encounter two very different characters. First we meet Mary. During a dinner to honor Jesus, she does just that. Mary takes some very expensive perfume and “she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.” What an extravagant gift of love from Mary to Jesus. What a beautiful scene. Then we meet Judas. He crashes this beautiful scene by objecting to what he calls a waste. He cannot see the beauty because he is blinded by his greed.
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be like Mary. We are to look for opportunities to serve one another. We are to be generous with both our resources and with ourselves. We might not be able to offer gifts worth a year’s wages, but we might. But we can bring a meal to a neighbor or maybe we can volunteer to do something at the church or at another local organization. We might not wash another’s feet with our hair, but we can offer an uplifting word in a time of need or we can bring unexpected joy to someone with a small, thoughtful gift or with a note that recognizes their worth.
The truth of the matter, though, is that we all have some Judas in us. I do. You do. We all do. We can easily fall into looking out for self. As our best Judas we can see the potential to do something beautiful for another yet choose not to do it because of what it might cost us. At our worst, we can become outright greedy with the blessings that God has given us, wanting just a bit more for ourselves.
In our passage Jesus defends Mary. She has done the right thing. She has cared for another in her presence. May we do the same.
Prayer: Lord God, when my inner Judas rises up, remind me of all the times that a Mary has ministered to me. And, Lord, may these reminders lead to grateful responses that lead me to pour out your love for the other. Use me this week, O God. Amen.