“Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Demonstrating Our Love (Mary of Bethany)
I find myself humbled by the story of Mary at Bethany – Mary, who extravagantly pours forth with her whole self, body and soul, love upon Jesus.
-Br. Jonathan Maury
“I Have Called You Friends” is our theme in “Meeting Jesus in John’s Gospel” this week, and our focus today is demonstrating our love for Jesus as God’s friends. I am certain that you, as I have, have found times where I was reluctant or even refusing to accept and receive the overpowering love of God poured out on me in Jesus Christ. There’ve been many times where I felt completely unworthy of the love which brought me into being, saved me, and promises me, even now, eternal life.
And yet, that is what the befriending of God in Jesus is about. It is about that extravagant love, that self-offering by which God draws us into union with God’s own Self. I find myself humbled by the story of Mary at Bethany – Mary, who extravagantly pours forth in actions, loving actions, with her whole self, body and soul, love upon Jesus, love beyond words, at a time where Jesus himself is in deep need of that healing. And Mary is an example for me, as well, an example of going beyond words and, by actions … by actions in prayer, by actions toward others, my brothers and sisters who are God’s beloved disciples, of the love which I have received and remind them of Jesus.
In our prayer today, let us ask for a renewed awareness of that love of God in Christ, which is poured on us time and again in our life experiences, in our prayer, in our actions for other, and in our engagement with the world. And let us turn, then, in gratitude to the One who loved us first. For the love of Jesus, which holds us in being, which is the source of “our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life,” and the one who calls us to demonstrate and to bear and to carry that love in the life to come.