Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Scripture readings bring us ever closer to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who would suffer and die on the cross, as we commemorate it in Good Friday in just a few days away from today. In today’s Gospel we heard of Mary, one of the constant followers of Jesus, who came up to Him during the dinner meal and anointed His feet with the most costly perfume and dried it with her own hair.
In this seemingly simple action and what happened afterwards all of us Christians are reminded in this time of the Holy Week of Who it is that ought to be the centre of our lives, that is the Lord, Our God. The Lord Jesus Who came into the world and dwelled among us, is God, and through Him God was willing to save us all mankind from our fate of destruction because of our sins.
And because He is God, that is why, as Mary showed us all, that He alone is worthy of all worship, glory and honour, and thus she used the most precious perfume to anoint His feet. At the same time, this is also a practice which is also done on the bodies of the dead, to prevent the bodies from having bad odour due to decomposition, which also therefore is a premonition of what the Lord was to go through, His suffering and death on the cross.
Mary humbled herself before the Lord, by bowing before Him and using her own hair to dry the Lord’s feet from the perfume she anointed Him with. For a woman, the hair is the most precious and the most important part of her body, her most valuable and prized possession. For Mary to make use of her hair to honour the Lord is for her to give her very best to the Lord, to do what she could, in the best way she could commit, to serve the Lord.
Let us compare this faith to what the disciple of Jesus, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, said at the same occasion. Judas sneered at Mary and ridiculed her for what she had done, and he mentioned how the expensive perfume she had used on the Lord’s feet could have been sold for a rich sum of money, and the money given to the poor instead. And the Lord rebuked Judas for his comment against Mary, because he was mistaken in his remarks.
First of all, as mentioned in the Gospels, Judas did not make the comment because he was truly caring towards the poor and the needy. Instead, as he was in charge of the Lord and His disciples’ funds and money, he could have stolen the funds and the money obtained by the selling of the expensive perfume, and put the money into his own pockets. He was thus in fact very corrupt in his action and in his thoughts, committing sin against God by slandering his fellow men, and by putting money ahead of God, and by telling lies and having a hypocrite’s faith.
That is also why Judas later on betrayed the Lord Jesus, because he was tempted by the allure of money, as he found the opportunity to sell Him over to the chief priests and the enemies of the Lord, who priced Him at a mere thirty silver coins, the price of a slave. Later on, Judas would regret this betrayal, but it was too late for him, as what has been done, cannot be undone. This is the proof of just how dangerous it is, when we put our selfish desires foremost in our minds and in our hearts.
Instead of following Judas’ example, we should imitate Mary, who gave her all to the Lord. She did not hesitate to humble herself before the Lord, and loved Him and followed Him wherever He went. This is the kind of faith which we all should have in our own lives, not the faith of a hypocrite, not the empty faith of someone like Judas Iscariot, and all those who refused to believe in the Lord with all of their heart, but only paying lip service to Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, as we continue to progress through the Holy Week celebrations, let us all reflect on all these, and strive to live more worthily of the Lord, and by turning our hearts and minds towards God. Let us all become ever more humble like Mary, and love God with all of our hearts. Let us all realise just how sinful we have been, and in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to guide us on our way, that we will always walk in His path, and eventually find our way towards His loving embrace, and be fully reconciled with Him, Our loving God and Father. May the Lord bless us all and our endeavours of faith. Amen.