Reflection: Today begins our journey with Mary’s anointing of Jesus. Her act of generosity belonged to the tradition of honoring someone with sweet-smelling oil made of a combination of many herbs. This was used at the consecration of kings and also as anointing for burial. In this one act, Mary offers signs of love and honor.
The early Christians then used this same scented oil as part of their baptismal and confirmation rites to emphasize their new identity with Christ (which also means “anointed one”). So today, inspired by Mary’s act, anoint another’s foreheads, as those early Christians did, with a sign of the cross and the words, “You are God’s Beloved Child.”
Pastor Brice Thomas:
Friends I'd like you to listen to our sacred story for this Holy Monday and it comes from the gospel of John Chapter 12:1-11
12 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—was you know- the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
9 When all the people[d] heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.
Friends this is our sacred story. The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.