These words, Christ speaks to us in today’s Gospel (Jn 12:1-11). We ought to hear them.
At this point in the Gospel, Jesus knows that he has only a few days left, yet we find him carrying on his mission, for here we find him preaching. Lazarus is present, shortly after being raised from the dead, Martha is serving in the kitchen, and Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with “a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard.”
Judas the Iscariot is also there, and asks Mary why the expensive oil was being used. Judas argues that the oil should be sold and the money given to the poor. Despite the fact that we learn that Judas really didn’t care about the poor and instead wanted only to steal the monies from the poor, he had a point: wouldn’t it be better to give to the poor?
But Jesus had a better point: “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The poor are always around, and we ought to help them. But when Jesus is present, he takes priority! Makes sense, you know, since he’s God.
There are times when we don’t have Jesus with us: adoration is not always offered and we can’t always be at Mass. When Jesus is around, we ought offer him all our jars of expensive nard and oil. Well, ok, perhaps not nard, but that which means something to us.
We should offer it to him.
We ought also pay attention to Lazarus in this Gospel. He had, afterall, just been raised from the dead. And how is he living now? We hear in the last few lines: “The chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.”
He came back to life with a newfound understanding of what is important, of what really matters.
And he offers his life–better than nard, eh?–to Jesus.
As Lent comes to an end, we must offer our lives to him to, so that come Friday, we can die with him, so that on Easter, we can rise with him.
I wish you peace in your Holy Week!!!!!