First Reading: Is 42:1-7; Psalm: 27. R. v.1a; Gospel: Jn 12:1-11
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem six days before the Passover and his subsequent death. When he came to Bethany, he decided to break his journey and stopped by the house of Lazarus. Recall that it was this same Lazarus that Jesus raised from the dead after he had been buried for four days. Perhaps this family had not had the chance to appreciate Jesus for what he did for them. But when Jesus visited this time around; they ceased that moment to appreciate him as much as they could.
Martha as usual served Jesus who sat at table with Lazarus and some others. Mary this time around did not just sit by the Lord’s feet but did something that won the attention of all at table. She anointed the feet of Jesus with a costly ointment of pure nard and wiped it with her hair. This ointment costs about three hundred denarii. A denarius was a full day’s wage for a working Jew. Which means that this ointment was worth approximately the nine month salary of a working Jew. So Judas was very right to note that this ointment was too expensive. But Jesus’ rebuke reminds us that nothing is too expensive to offer to God. Gratitude to God is priceless and invaluable.
We know that we do not often show gratitude to God as much as we should. But when we do, it must be done well. There are moments in our lives that we experience God’s extraordinary love. The kind of love that beats our imagination. The kind of love we feel we don’t deserve. It could be escaping death in an accident, surviving a near death illness or escaping imprisonment in a court case. In the case of Lazarus, it was coming back to life again. When we receive such love from God, nothing is ever too expensive to show appreciation to God. In fact, nothing is ever enough to give to God. A sacrifice of thanksgiving to God should cost us something.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to know and live with the understanding that nothing is too expensive to offer to you. Amen.