“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. (Mark 14:6-8a NIV)
Is Jesus critiquing their concern for the poor – what had they done to help the poor?
Jesus seems to contrast her devotion with theirs, her extravagance with theirs. He also is distinguishing something that they can do always with something that is timely, for this moment alone (anointing him).
Monday of Holy Week… not a day with memorable events like Palm Sunday or Holy Thursday or Good Friday. Mark remembers Jesus’ anointing (John 12 suggests it was Mary the sister of Lazarus).
This year, this day, I hear Jesus’ invitation to serve him in the moment. My tendencies are toward thinking and strategy, toward planning, toward reflection. This woman is not thinking of principles of Christian service or how to advance the mission by her acts. She is thinking of her love for Jesus. She pours out the perfume and likewise pours out herself to him.
What have I done today out such extravagant devotion? Does my life for Jesus overflow so powerfully and wonderfully?
Lord, on this Monday I remember the woman who anointed you. She poured out her gift, anointing you for burial. Soon you would pour out yourself for her and for those in that room – and for me. Make my love one of extravagant devotion and overflowing adoration. Amen.