Something Extravagant

Today’s gospel for the Monday of Holy Week is the well-known story of Mary of Bethany, anointing the feet of Jesus with “a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard.”  In Jesus’ time, the washing on someone’s feet carried with it meaning. While a host would offer water to a visitor for the visitor to wash their own feet, otherwise, only a servant or slave would wash someone’s feet. The same applied to anointing of the feet, considered a soothing treatment after a long day or journey. Because of these connotations, those who voluntarily washed someone else’s feet showed they were devoted enough to act as that person’s slave. The act of anointing Jesus’ feet, when taken in its literary and cultural context, displays Mary’s utter devotion to Jesus. Continue reading

Something Extravagant

Today’s gospel for the Monday of Holy Week is the well-known story of Mary of Bethany, anointing the feet of Jesus with “a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard.”  In Jesus’ time, the washing on someone’s feet carried with it meaning. While a host would offer water to a visitor for the visitor to wash their own feet, otherwise, only a servant or slave would wash someone’s feet. The same applied to anointing of the feet, considered a soothing treatment after a long day or journey. Because of these connotations, those who voluntarily washed someone else’s feet showed they were devoted enough to act as that person’s slave. The act of anointing Jesus’ feet, when taken in its literary and cultural context, displays Mary’s utter devotion to Jesus. Continue reading

Anointing Jesus’ feet

1 Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 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. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 (The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, 11 because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him. Continue reading

A Sense of Taste and Smell

anointing“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.” (John 12:3)

It was always interesting to have dinner with one my brother friars.We would being eating pasta and sauce and he is across the table in near ecstasy going  on about the flavors, the subtle taste of this or that ingredient. It was almost the diner scene from “Harry Met Sally.” Me? I can barely distinguish between Mama Leoni’s and mama-it-came-from-a-jar.  I suspect my friar friend is a ‘supertaster” – a person by genetic disposition and heritage who possesses more taste buds, a greater sense, and is inevitably a “foodie.”

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The anointing

Mary-anoints1 Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 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. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 (The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, 11 because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him. Continue reading