"The house was filled with the ointment's fragrance." —John 12:3
My daughter has a bottle of perfume weighing four ounces. As a test, I asked her to fill the room with the perfume's fragrance. She only had to press the spray button twice and you could smell a strong fragrance clear across the room. Mary of Bethany poured the equivalent of four such bottles of perfume on Jesus' feet (Jn 12:3) and head (Mk 14:3). It's likely that every citizen in Bethany could enjoy the fragrance of Mary's perfume that afternoon!
Our faithful lives in Jesus are like that perfume. Our songs of praise are sweet-smelling (Sir 39:14). Our acts of love to others are a sweet fragrance (Sg 4:10). Even our charitable gifts for God's sake are fragrant (Phil 4:18). "We are an aroma of Christ for God's sake, both among those who are being saved and those on the way to destruction; to the latter an odor dealing death, to the former a breath bringing life" (2 Cor 2:15-16). Jesus "employs us to diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge everywhere" (2 Cor 2:14). Jesus uses even our very presence to change a house, neighborhood, school, workplace, etc. All we must do is remain in Jesus to keep our fragrance. When we smell good, we can change the entire atmosphere of a place simply by being present.
Jesus wants His house to be filled (Lk 14:23). Let's fill His house, the Church, with the sweet-smelling fragrance of our lives of faith in Him (2 Cor 2:16). On this Monday of Holy Week, pour out the fragrance of your life of obedient faith (Rm 1:5; Gal 2:19-20) as "a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord" (Lv 1:9).
Prayer: Jesus, I want to do You a kindness (Mk 14:6) by pouring out Your holy love to all I meet this week.
Praise: Theresa resolutely smiled and spread God's love to others on days she had little sleep and energy.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2011 through May 31, 2011. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.