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Anointing at Bethany - Part 2

Posted on 11th April, 2021


ANOINTING AT BETHANY – MT 26, 8-13; MK 14, 4-9; JN 12, 1-8




      But first Jesus has done beautiful things to me!  He has anointed me through the saving sacrament of Baptism.  I have been buried with him and raised to new life, the divine life through his Paschal mystery! “…you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Col. 2, 12)  I have been buried and raised to life with him, not alone, but with him.  He takes me by the hand, so to speak, or better, he carries me close to his Sacred Heart descending into death and ascending into his divine life, transforming me into the image of his risen self in accordance with my unique individuality.

The Entombment of Christ - Carl BlochResurrection of ChristAdult being baptised

      “…you are not your own; you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body.”

(1 Cor 6, 19).  Here is what Mary of Bethany did; she anointed Jesus’ head and feet with a pound of the most precious nard – all spent on Jesus for his honour and glory. For this reason, he promises that wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world her lavishness on his Person will be commended, displayed, and glorified as an example of love and devotion, and this prophecy has been proved true.  I am very much attracted to do beautiful things for Jesus in imitation of Mary of Bethany and all the saints (known and unknown) who lived by his promises as preached in the gospel and which have been realised in them through his sanctifying grace.


      “…and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” (Jn 12, 3)  “For we are the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor 2,15). “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10, 31)  These are the beautiful things I can do for Jesus; not counting the cost of the precious ointment of self-sacrificial love, spiritually poured out lavishly on the head and feet of Jesus, true God and true man. Will I be criticised, misunderstood, held in contempt for my devotion like Mary of Bethany was by the disciples, especially Judas Iscariot?  It is possible, for when I left the world to become a nun relatives, friends and acquaintances commented on the waste of a life lived for God alone.  How absurd to speak like that and, certainly, it was in worldly ignorance that they did so!  Nevertheless, these attitudes are commonplace in the secularism that pervades our society today.


      Jesus prophesied that Mary’s anointing would be told throughout the world in memory of her and this has become a reality.  Jesus promises me his new life beginning here and now as I accompany him in the gospel way, the way of faith, love, and selfless service of God and all people. Those “beautiful things”, those hidden anointings will not go unnoticed by Our Lord, no!  “…your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt 6, 4.6.18)

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