Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“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.”
We have to remember to take care of one another. Actions are louder than words, helping the poor, being kind to a stranger, and praying for the sick or disabled. All of these actions do not require much of us, but it does show our devotion to God. We have to remember to love and protect everyone. These are the small things that make our lives more meaningful that fill us with a wonderful feeling just like the house was filled with the fragrant oil in our gospel reading for today.
As we go about our daily lives we have stop and take time to help others. We can soothe or make things better for those around us by doing simple things, just like Mary soothed Jesus as he faced betrayal and death by showing him kindness and taking care of him.
Years ago, my father and I went to Spain to visit the region where my grandfather came from. My dad was paralyzed on one side after a stroke when I was younger. This did not deter us from taking this trip. As we travelled through airports and big cities, I found random strangers, people that didn’t need to, helping us.
When we were flying from Madrid to Bilbao we went to check in at the desk. The worker insisted that they would take care of us. Around the time of our flight, a man pulled up in a little cart and whisked us off to our gate. Then the airport worker insisted we wait; he would check us in and then let us board the airplane separately. We were treated so wonderfully. We didn’t ask for extra help, but they saw we could use it and simply stepped in.
Later, when we moved through a train station, I was struggling to get our luggage, a portable wheelchair and my dad on the escalator. A man came and simply took the wheelchair from me and helped me until we got off the escalator. He looked like a busy businessman bustling through the train station, but he stopped and took time to help. I thanked him and he was off again. The few minutes it took him to help saved us the struggle of having to leave our luggage behind while I helped my dad.
When we arrived at our hotel in Madrid, I worker was washing windows. As my dad and I exited the taxi, he looked at us and without any thought walked over to us and started helping retrieve our things from the trunk and walk us into the hotel lobby. He spoke to the hotel clerk and waited while we checked in. This was not his job, but he stopped and did something because he wanted to help. He went beyond his duties to do something nice for us.
When I think back, our entire trip was made better by those who stopped and offered to help. Without them our trip would have been a struggle. Instead, it was a wonderful memory spending time with my dad and being able to share our love of travel together.
-Mrs. Cortney Schraut is the Library Director at St. Louis U. High.
God of love, My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.
I know only that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.
I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.
Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others.
—Dana CoonsPlease share the Good Word with your friends!