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The WORD. The TRUTH.

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Perfumes were very expensive in Israel during the time of Jesus. Nobody bought even just an ounce of perfume that easily. In fact, perfume was bought from the store in terms of a unit of measurement called “dran.” One dran is equivalent to one-eighth of an ounce. This was how costly perfumes were. One-eighth of an ounce is the unit of measurement of perfumes.

Mary anointed the feet of our Lord, not only with an ounce of perfume, but with one pound of perfume. There are, of course, 16 ounces to a pound. Now, 16 ounces of perfume applied to a guest can really be too much, much too much. It is like the beggar buying me a yacht for my birthday. That is too much.

And you will say, “Father Soc should not accept that, and the beggar should be more concerned about providing food for his family rather than buying a gift for a priest.”

And yet, Mary did it. She was extravagant. Don’t be so quick to judge Judas because we might have judged Mary in the same way that Judas did. It was really too much. I am not Judas, but I also think that it is too much. It is too much to anoint somebody’s feet with one pound of perfume. And the perfume did not only cover the feet, it flowed onto the floor and flooded the entire room with its scent. Can you imagine that? It was truly extravagant, overwhelming.

Where did Mary learn such extravagance? From Jesus. Jesus was also extravagant. She was only acting according to what she learned from the Master. Jesus could not be satisfied with the minimum. In the old Scholastic Theology, we were told, “A drop of blood from the circumcision of Jesus could have saved humanity.” But God chose the most difficult way, the most extravagant way.

We are a people who are now so used to fast food. We are a people who are so used to entertaining people with lunch boxes, canned food, and delivered food. But without fighting, without going against the norms of hospitality, let us reflect on our capacity to go overboard in our generosity. God has never been stingy with us. How come we keep so many things to ourselves?

Let us remember Mary and her costly perfume. She had no second thoughts about giving it to Jesus because, to her, not even the costliest item in the world could express her extravagant love for the Lord. Let it be that way with us.

EXTRAVAGANT LOVE
Jn 12:1-11
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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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