Fifth Sunday of Lent – 03 04 22
Gospel: John 12:1-8
It was a week before his arrest, torture and death, six days before the Passover. Passover was a very special festival for the Jewish people when people prepare to celebrate memory of their liberation from the bondage of slavery in Egypt several generations ago.
Jesus Christ was fully aware that this festival is going to be difficult for him. He was going to be betrayed, arrested, tortured, interrogated, then be crucified on the cross of Calvary like a criminal.
Today’s gospel reading tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ was preparing for all that was going to happen. Knowing fully well going to Jerusalem is going to be trouble, Jesus was not going to escape the suffering but is walking head on to face his suffering.
Yet he chose to be with his friends in those difficult days in preparing to face pain, suffering and agony. There were some friends who were aware of what is going to happen and there are others who never thought Jesus was really going to be captured and killed.
In these tense moments, Jesus on his way to Jerusalem has decided to camp in Bethany where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. Mary the sister of Lazarus does something very special.
She pours a very expensive perfume at Jesus’ feet and wipes his feet with her hair. This sort of anointing is done after a person has died. Actually whatever act of love or gratitude shown after a person has died is not going to matter to that person. Mary chose to do such an anointing even when Jesus was alive.
Showing her love and devotion to Jesus and also helping Jesus to prepare for his suffering and death.
There were people especially Judas Iscariot who got offended about the anointing and said this perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. 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.’
This is so true for every one of us. We ourselves and people who share life with us, our friends and family are not going to be with us forever. Showing our appreciation, gratitude, love and affection while they are alive will mean a lot to them.