Gospel JN 12:1-11
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.
I dipped my fingers in paint to create this image last week. I am filled with anxiety that overflows my heart which no alabaster jar could contain. Mary holds the lavish expression of care and consolation not in a jar but in an awareness of Jesus. She knows who Jesus really is for her and Lazarus. She is one of my most beloved characters in the gospels. I wait every year for this Monday of Holy Week to listen to Mary’s encounter one more time. She prepares my heart so I will be able to hear the rest of the story this week. I want to pour out what is in my own heart to the Once who faced condemnation from those who loved him. I ache to bend down to anoint the feet of the Master, the Beloved, because he has first forgiven me and set me free. This is behind the paint I dabble on paper.