One of the things this ministry does is publish a quarterly magazine titled Cornerstone. It’s a 92-page, full-color, glossy with production standards that are as high as the best magazines in the world. We are giving away the latest issue free. The cover story is how to spend time in personal prayer and, in these days of lock-down, it is something you may wish to do. You can download a PDF on my Facebook Page. The link is in the Description Box below.
Obviously, the cost to publish a magazine like this is considerably high, and I am often asked why I spend so much when I can get it printed cheaper and use the money saved for better things, like feeding the poor. So, I can really understand what the woman in today’s story feels. She wipes our Lord’s feet with perfume that cost about a year’s wages — literally — and ALL the apostles wonder what is wrong with her.
In John’s version here, only Judas is blamed, but in Matthew’s version, it says, “When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked (Matthew 26:8). Now, if we are honest — and I hope we ARE honest when we reflect upon Scripture, because only honesty leads to conversion — don’t most of us feel the same? A year’s wages poured out on somebody’s feet. Isn’t that a terrible waste? You know what I am saying? So, why does Jesus praise her then?
Because Mary exemplifies Jesus’ teaching that “anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). Mary shows that she has no attachment to SELF as most commonly seen in people. One, there is no attachment to money; we see her pour out this perfume, unmindful of the cost. Two, there is no pride; she applies the perfume to his feet, like a humble servant would.
Three, she doesn’t care for the reaction of people; she knows she will be criticized for her actions but that doesn’t stop her. Four, she understood that extravagant sacrifice was the response to extravagant love. And it is this last thing that motivates people to make great sacrifices for God, unmindful of anyone or anything else. We understand the extravagant love. And we respond accordingly.
As we journey through Holy Week may we all realize the great, great love that Jesus has for us, dying for people such as ourselves, and respond by giving of ourselves to him as he gave of himself to us.