6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
From yesterday’s urgent, even angry drama of Palm Sunday, today we turn to drama of a quite different kind in Bethany, this touching, intimate act of worship by this unknown woman, whose life had clearly been deeply affected by Jesus. This incident is also marked by anger, though, the anger of the disciples. What is the cause of their anger. On the face of it, it is anger that this perfume could have been sold and the proceeds gone towards helping the poor. This may be the case. I do wonder, however, if their anger actually arises from them feeling unsettled by the woman’s generous, emotional and wholehearted worship. Do they feel embarrassed, disturbed or shown up by it?
Jesus, you gave your life for me, how can I hold anything back?