By: Brittany Fiscus
Reflection—v. 5, money given to the poor
For practical reasons, I want to take Judas’ side in this story. Here we have Jesus visiting his friends and in the midst of the visit Mary busts out this extravagantly expensive perfume and washes Jesus’ feet with it. I want to just scream at Mary, ‘You could have used that money for the poor!’ And I’m ready to have Jesus at our backs, nodding his head in agreement at my selfless nature. But the surprise twist is that instead it’s Judas. Jesus has this really confusing un-Jesus-like response of condoning Mary’s action. Jesus is supposed to be the champion of social justice, and here he is allowing a blatant waste of money because we’ll ‘always have the poor?’ How often have we gotten so caught up in ‘helping people’ that we forget that they are in fact people? Maybe Jesus condones Mary’s gift because it is a genuine act of kindness given in love. Mary wants to do something kind for Jesus out of the love and respect she has for him as a fellow human being. When we get caught up in what is an important use of not only our money but our time and energy, Jesus gives us a reminder here that all gifts should be given in love.
Prayer Christ Jesus, help us to give extravagantly, but may it always be with respect, love, and dignity for the other person.