Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 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. ~(John 12:1-3)
Yesterday we found Jesus mobbed but probably exhilarated by the crowds as he made his entry into the great city to the shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
This day, Monday, weary from all the excitement and eager once again to be welcomed by his beloved friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus, he makes the short trip to Bethany with his disciples.
Apparently he was expected; a dinner party had been arranged and Jesus was to have quite an intimate surprise ~ right there in front of God and everybody. Mary loved Jesus in a special way; Martha seemed to be jealous of her. She got down, washed Jesus dusty, tired, weary bare feet and massaged, soothed, and caressed them.
Suddenly she got up, went to a nearby shelf and got a beautiful alabaster bottle filled with the finest aromatic spikenard. She broke it open! and the whole house was instantly transformed by its wonderful aroma.
She poured it liberally over the Master’s feet. (And as we know Judas objected strenuously ~ but let’s not bother with that.)
(Permit me this Ignatian-style reflection ~ a bit R-rated.)
A sensual woman caresses a 33-year old man with perfumed oil. The oil squishes down between his toes; it soothes his weary feet. She rubs it in circular motions around the ankles.
Then Mary teases him dripping some, drop / drop on his shins, watching the glistening oil slither down his feet.
She leans back on her haunches and waits to get his reaction.
He grins, and raises his eyeballs toward the ceiling.
Then she pounces on him and rubs his feet firmly and furiously and backs away again, then just looks at him and smiles.
He returns the gaze, obviously, very pleased, very delighted, very relaxed.
Then she leans forward and begins to dry his feet with her hair!
This process takes a long time.
Oil takes a long to come out, just being dried by hair, as lovely as Mary’s is.
Now, dear friends, you can’t get more sensuous than that!
I wonder what were the thoughts and feelings of the Lord of the universe’s during this most intimate of male ~ female encounters. Perhaps this most unusual, very creative experience might be even as intimate, as soul-connecting as intercourse itself.
I wouldn’t even dare to imagine. I would simply let him have his own thoughts and feelings
The sacred text doesn’t say, but we can intimate from what we already know that Jesus is already very comfortable with Mary who used to sit gaga-eyed at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42.)
Was it sexual? No. But it sure as h- was sensual!
Did he enjoy the experience?
I’m quite sure he did.
Jesus was a whole, integrated man.
Was he embarrassed to have that happen in front of the others? Quite sure not.
He was with people with whom he could “let this hair down,” although Mary probably got a good talkin’ to by her sister in the bedroom later! Jesus, unlike many of us, was not afraid to be himself in any and all circumstances.
That Monday of that of Holy Week two Millennia ago was a day of relaxation for our Lord. He was able to make a sacrament of the present moment as he put aside concern about the events that lie ahead.
help us, too, to make our present moments a sacrament.
Help us to fully give ourselves to the moment we are in,
embracing it, with eyes and ears wide open to it,
putting all other concerns aside.
For that moment is where life happens.
We may not get another.
And now before you go, here’s the beautiful hymn, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” Click here.