"Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for Him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with Him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (he who was about to betray Him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.” -- John 12:1-8
It's hard to find a picture of Mary anointing Jesus in Bethany and be sure you've got the right anointing, but the love on their faces here shows we're on the right track.
As Holy Week begins again, we are invited to pour our nard on Jesus' head and feet. What is our nard, our precious ointment? Each of us must answer this in the company of Jesus, but I would suggest it can be the thing we are least expecting: Namely, our joy! For this is the passage I found in Marcel's Conversations today that has inspired me. It was what Jesus said to our little brother on Monday of Holy Week 1946, but truth is truth! (And Truth only speaks truth!) So here is a suggestion for your Holy Week reflection. May Our Lord fill you with joy so that you may console His Sacred Heart as He has never before been consoled!
Words of Jesus from Marcel's Conversations:
"A lover of flowers seeks every means to cultivate his flowers carefully, so they will be more fresh and beautiful, so he can gaze on them afterwards to comfort himself in moments of sadness. With you, my little flower, I act in the same way. I must, first of all, give you a freshness and beauty, to find subsequently, in contemplating you, a comfort for My heart. It is solely for this reason that I give you delights, and you did not know it...Little brother, since you are joyful, continue to be so and, the more you are, the more you will console the Lover of flowers...But little brother, to comfort Me at this time, you must stop writing, since you are already tired...That's enough!...If not, Mary will scold us and that won't be pleasant for us. Come, little brother, that's enough, it is time. Quickly! Quickly little brother. It is very tiresome. I am giving you a kiss." (448)
Which is my cue to stop writing too, but I wish you a blessed Holy Week spent in the company of Jesus. Don't worry if you can't do much - that is par for the course! He does it all, and we merely open our hearts to His and let Him fill them. He will cultivate us, and for our part, if we can manage an extra smile or two here and there, that is a beautiful way to anoint His head and feet and bring joy to the Lover of flowers!
Draw me, we will run!
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