Each Gospel includes a story of a woman washing and anointing Jesus’ feet and drying them with her hair. An often missed detail is that the perfume she used came in an alabaster box. Traditionally, this woman would’ve received this box and its contents upon her birth to save for the anointing of her husband on her wedding night. This vessel would generally cost about a year’s salary and was meant to represent the total gift of herself. It was a strong image illustrating the journey of her entire life and the future she would share with her spouse.
This being said, it’s important to ask what was happening in the heart of Mary leading up today’s Gospel. Mary knew who Jesus was. She had seen his indescribable power and her heart was on fire with a love that her bones could barely contain. Consequently, she does something radical. She takes her most precious possession, something that could never be replaced and recklessly surrenders it all. She gives him her past, her present and her future and she shows no regret. As expected, the world isn’t impressed by Mary’s gift. She is met with criticism and ridicule. Yet we notice that she never speaks a word. She doesn’t have to. Jesus is all too ready to fight her battles as she remains so close to Him.
What about you? Chances are you’ve given most of your life to Jesus. Yet, the degree in which we will find the Lord this Lent is in direct correlation with how dauntless we have been at throwing everything into His fiery heart. Have you surrendered the guilt of the past, the anxieties of the present and the unknown of the future? Are you willing to let your love for Him literally be out of control? If so, you can trust that the Lord will not be outdone in generosity.
Katie Hartfiel is a wife, mother, national speaker and the author of Totus Tuus: Marian Consecration for Teens, Woman in Love and the DIY Mother Daughter Purity Retreat. For more on Katie, her blog, books, and your first chapter free visit womaninlove.org