Mk 11:1-10 (Procession); Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mk 14:1 – 15:47 (Passion Account)
How do you want to be remembered?
In this Sunday’s gospel, a woman approaches Jesus at a dinner shortly before his arrest and execution. She breaks open a jar of very expensive oil and pours it all over Jesus’ head. Some at the dinner table are infuriated – Couldn’t this oil have been sold and the money given to the poor? What a waste!
Jesus, as usual, sees things differently. He sees into the woman’s heart and understands her intention. She has “done what she could” to prepare Jesus’ body ahead of time for the burial that is soon to come. Her actions are really not all that different from those of Mother Teresa who, at the beginning of what would become the ministry of the Missionaries of Charity, gave the dying beggars in the streets of Calcutta a place where they could die with dignity. “Wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world,” Jesus says of the unnamed woman, “what she has done will be told in memory of her.” And so it has been done, two thousand years and counting.
Which of our actions will turn out to be the defining ones of our lives? How often do we miss noticing those moments while they are happening because we are devoting our attention to what will ultimately turn out to be empty gestures or, worse, wrong-headed ones?
Let us pray this week for the grace to see the moments of our lives through the eyes of Christ.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(To purchase book-length collections of my reflections on the Scriptures and the Church, go to www.twentythirdpublications.com. )