Today’s gospel, John 12. 1–11, is about the supper Jesus shared with Mary, Martha and Lazarus at Bethany. It contains a shocking extravagance: the jar of nard, a whole pound’s weight, which Mary poured over his feet. It is the kind of gesture only someone very, very rich or very, very indifferent to others’ opinion could make.
Our lives should be like that nard: poured out as a fragrant offering, generously, without a care for what others think, our eyes fixed upon Jesus. It isn’t easy. There are too many who think, like Judas, how much better it would be to spend our lives in the service of some more obvious good. On this Monday of Holy Week, however, we dare to be with Mary, focusing our love and service on the Lord, aware that in serving him we are drawn to serve others, too.