In our gospel today from John 12: 1-11, Mary took some expensive oil and anointed the feet of Jesus, at the objection of Judas. We know Judas really wanted to sell the oil, not to give the money to the poor, but to keep it for himself. Jesus responds to Judas’ objection to Mary using the expensive oil on him by saying, “Leave her alone. You will always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me”.
The statement, “You will always have the poor with you” may seem a bit harsh or uncaring, but this is not a lack of compassion for the needy or permission to tolerate their condition. Jesus was telling them that he would not be with them much longer and that they should spend their last precious time with him, loving him and learning all they can from him. They will always have the poor that need help, and their last few days with Jesus are more important right now.
We are reminded with this Gospel that we will always have work to do for Jesus, but we must remember to stop and take some time to connect with Jesus through prayer, reading scripture, adoration, or other ways we can connect with him in order to serve those in need better. If we are only “doing” for Jesus, and not spending time “being” with Jesus, we will not be the best version of ourselves.
De Colores, Deacon Kevin