Today’s Gospel of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus holds special memories for me. In 1961 when Mass was still celebrated in Latin I was asked to read this gospel in English at an end of term Mass. While the priest proclaimed it in Latin it read it in English.
Mary’s gesture of anointing with nard, an expensive fragrant oil, has been described as an “a generosity bordering on recklessness”. She wanted to let Jesus know how much she loved him. Jesus received this act of love, graciously.
“There is nothing calculating, careful, or conservative about the woman’s action. Flowing from the deepest place in the heart, religion resists the strictures set for it by a fussily moralising reason (on full display in those who complain about the woman’s extravagance). At the climax of his life, Jesus will give himself away totally, lavishly, unreasonably—and this is why Mary’s beautiful gesture is a sort of overture to the opera that will follow.” Bishop Robert Barron
Today let us pray for all those who are looking after the sick and dying that they may have gentle hands and warm hearts. We also pray for the grace not to be afraid to show our friends how much we love and appreciate them.