Thursday, April 4
Jesus and his disciples gathered at dinner with Lazarus following his raising Lazarus from the dead. While Martha served the meal, Mary took a pound of costly ointment and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. The question was raised as to why she didn’t sell the nard and give the money to feed the poor. Jesus responded that they should let her alone and let her keep it for the day of his burial which was coming soon. A similar story is told in the other three gospels.
When I first read these passages many, many years ago, the scene I visualized always seemed a little strange. Why would anyone find it acceptable to get down on their hands and feet and use their hair to wash and dry a guest’s feet. I never thought of it as being a generous activity – maybe being a show-off (Mary) – maybe being embarrassed (Jesus) – maybe being disruptive (to the other guests) – while everyone was trying to dine.
After further contemplation, I believe the generosity of Martha was not only monetary but of devotion, time, and kindness, all things taught by Jesus. I need to be more like her.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be more generous in my giving of money to the church, to charities, to those in need. Don’t let me hold back in my love to others, in feeding and clothing the poor, in visiting the ill, in worshipping and remembering you in my prayers. Thank you for being so generous to me over the years. Amen.