Friends, in today’s Gospel Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus for his death and burial. By this act, she anticipates the visit of three women to the tomb of Jesus. Early on the morning of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome will bring spices to anoint the body of Jesus.
They will look in and see a young man—and be frightened out of their wits. Can you imagine? You walk into a tomb, fully expecting to see a dead body, and you see instead someone alive and well—someone different than the man who was buried there! But that will not be the end of their surprise. The man will announce that the Jesus whom they seek is not there, that he has been raised up and will go ahead of them into Galilee.
From this grave of Jesus we will learn that everything we took to be the case is not the case. God is the enemy of death, and he has shown us his power over death in the most unambiguous way; our lives no longer need to be dominated by the fear of death, and we see the proof of this in the most vivid way imaginable.
Keep all of that in mind as we read this beautiful story of Mary of Bethany anointing the feet of Jesus.