In this particular account from Mark,
the woman–who really gate-crashes this party–
not only anoints Jesus with expensive perfume,
but breaks the flask (in many translations, an alabaster jar).
This small detail emphasizes the lavishness of the woman’s act:
By breaking the alabastar jar, she shows that she intends to use up everything–
every single drop of that expensive perfume–
no holding back, no counting cost.
We can imagine how moved our Lord must have been–
a gesture of lavish love at a time when he needed it the most.
For that reason, Jesus described the woman’s act as “a beautiful thing”
and promised that she would always be remembered whenever the Gospel is preached.
All four evangelists have made sure to keep that promise of our Lord.
Now, what about YOUR alabaster jar?
If the alabaster jar stands for YOUR HEART,
and its content ALL THE LOVE in you–
mixed with all your NEEDS and FEARS–
how much of your love have you been willing to pour on the Lord?
Have you been able to bring yourself
to reserve a love for the Lord as lavish as this woman’s?
Have you been willing to pour every single drop of the love
in your heart on the Lord–
just like that?
No holding back?
No counting of cost?
Or have you instead been saving some of it–
or a lot of it–for something else, for someone else,
or perhaps just for yourself?
What we’re talking about here
is really nothing less than
what our Lord Jesus considers
“the greatest commandment.”
Actually, there is a very simple way of measuring
our love for the Lord: TIME.
How much time of the day
do you actually spend for–and with–the Lord?
It’s up to you to define
what “spending time for and with the Lord” means.
Think about it:
In your opinion, which of your activities
can count as “spending time for and with the Lord”?
And what constitutes the “something else” or “someone else”
that you give your time–and love–to?
Share your best–and most honest–estimate HERE.
If your answer falls somewhere within the range of 50% of the day,
that’s already relatively substantial!
If it’s less than half–
and most of us would probably even fall way below 10%
(considering most of us
don’t even spend 30 minutes on daily prayer!),
we need to do some serious self-examination:
How much do we love the Lord?
How much MORE can we love Him?
How many MORE drops from this jar of ours
can we spare for the Lord?
Love can be measured in time,
but it is best manifested in deeds.
One of the simplest,
but most powerful prayers
of St. Ignatius of Loyola,
founder of the Jesuits,
consists of three simple questions:
“What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What should I do for Christ?”
You may want to make this
your special prayer today.