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The woman pours expensive perfumed ointment over Jesus’ head. It was worth about a year’s wages. The critics kick in: “How extravagant!. The money for that could have been used to to feed the poor.”

Jesus defends her against the hypocrisy of her attackers. She knows what he’s about – they don’t. The challenge of his way will be too much for his opponents and they will use their temporal power to be rid of him. In the best way she knows how, she prepares him for burial while affirming her allegiance (is this what really drew the criticism?) “Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Having attended on Holy Monday the funeral of my former seminary principal, I reflect on certain associations with this passage on how the good news is proclaimed. This is compounded as I prepare to take the funeral service of a foundation member of my church tomorrow, Maundy Thursday.

One a renowned scholar and shaper of our movement, the other a quiet thoughtful man who preferred to keep in the background. Both “poured their ointment” in their devotion to the way of Jesus and their gentle humility “proclaimed good news” to all within their respective spheres of influence.

Today’s reflection leaves me with a challenge.

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