Extravagence

Mary extravagantly anoints Jesus' feet in today's Gospel. She bends down, pours out precious oil, cleans the feet of a man whose been out traveling, his feet dusty from long walks on filthy roads. She wipes the oil with her hair, caressing the calloused feet of her Savior. She weeps, knowing that he is tired, and yet perhaps she knows how much further he must go yet. She weeps for the man who has raised her brother from the dead, the man who is scorned and hunted, the man she has come to know as Friend and Savior. He is resting for a moment or two, eating with friends, steadying himself for what lies ahead. Mary's gesture is a gesture of pure love, willingness to offer all she has for that one moment in time for her Lord and God.

Judas is angry. He sees Mary's gesture not as one of love and offering, but of waste. Yes, he knows this man is the Messiah, but why bother pouring out precious oil on one who will soon die? Why waste the money on something like this, when a bowl of water will do? Judas, of course, is not truly worried about the gesture, but that there will be less for himself. If Mary means to offer this Christ, will there be any left over for Judas?

Put yourself in this scene. Are you the one at the feet of Christ, offering what you have in one single extravagant moment? Do you pour out whatever it is that you have to offer, not thinking of holding back, but trusting that what you do will be all for Christ's glory?

Perhaps you are the one worrying. You can't bring yourself to offer everything. You worry about not having enough to sustain yourself. You know that in your sin and weakness, you can't possibly give everything; what will keep you going. What will you have left for your own journey?

Today's Gospel is about you. Are you going to offer all you have this week, starting today, to be at the feet of Christ? Or will you hold back, afraid that what you give will never come back to you? Will you be the one who can't quite give yourself to Christ, who gives all for you? Will you be extravagant or miserly? Will you give all you have, or keep something back because you can't fully trust your Lord?

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