Are You All In?

A Lenten Reflection by SSJ Agregee Betsy Wiest

In John’s gospel, the woman who anoints Jesus is Mary of Bethany. Let’s start by saying that Mary got it. She sat at Jesus’ feet. She listened and opened her heart to His message. As Mary begins to clean Jesus’ feet, she breaks the seal on the jar of costly nard or perfume. In Jewish tradition, all of the nard must be used once the seal has been broken. Mary, a true disciple, knows this. She is all in. She holds nothing back.

She anoints his feet. The same feet that will carry the cross. She anoints his head. The same head that will crowned by thorns. She anoints his body. The same body that will be beaten and scourged for our sins.

How interesting that in a culture where women did not touch men and did not show their hair, we have Mary, an insignificant woman of that time, anointing the king of kings and unwrapping her hair to do this. I often wonder if by anointing him with her hair, the scent that would have clung to her hair was her way of walking with him. When Mary anointed Jesus, the perfume would have clung to him for days. I wonder if, when he was pleading with his Father to let this cup pass, the scent of the perfume reminded him that there was someone out there who also understood that he must drink this cup. When he was nailed to the cross and cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” would the scent remind him that he was not alone?

So, I have two questions for you today. The first is are you all in? And the second is, do you leave each person you encounter with a scent, a tangible reminder of the way you speak, treat, and love each person and of Jesus’ love for them? May the scent of Jesus in our lives impel us and urge us to be broken and poured out for others.

Are you all in?

2 Comments on “Are You All In?”

  1. It’s not God gets us that’s important. It’s we get God. When we give it comes back multiplied by the gift.

  2. Love the story of Mary of Bethany andlove the Lenten readings provided to us by Sr. Marjorie. Also, celebrating my wife’s 75th birthday today, acknowledging the 55 wonderful years she has given to me of those 75 years. God gives us a lot to be grateful for!
    God Bless the SSJ’s and all those who support them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *