Visit our new site at

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Holy Wednesday: Anointing

The Wednesday Festival is taking a sabbatical for Holy Week. If you nominated posts for this week, please be assured that they will appear in the next week's festival - a double edition! - on April 11.

According to tradition, Wednesday in Holy Week is the day that Jesus was anointed with the contents of an expensive alabaster jar by the woman at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper (Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-19).

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 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.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
(Matt 26:6-13)

How do we anoint the Jesus within ourselves and in others this week? Our walk through Holy Week prepares us for our own burial, in a way; and while some of us choose physical self-mortification (penance, fasting) during the week, I think there is also an argument for some radical self-care.

Try taking some time away to think of your love of Jesus and the mystery that His sacrifice means for each of us.

Know how much you are loved.


  1. I think it's a great argument for radical self-care. I took an hour on Holy Tuesday and gave myself the gift of a professional massage. (my first!) It's truly helped me to refocus and given me the energy I'll need to make it to Easter Sunday. I think I'll make it a Holy Week tradition!

  2. Well, Mary Beth, I had the annointing on Monday, but that's okay. It doesn't matter which day.
    What a powerful post. And what a great comment kerygma, never thought of it that way. I am going to have to spend sometime in thought about this.

  3. Oh wise kerygma! Learning self care at such a young age will serve you well, little sister! Wish I could have worked a massage in this year. Instead, Maundy Thursday will begin this year's Triduum with assisting at a funeral for a 16 year old girl who wiped out her car last Saturday just over the hill from where I live. Messy situation, lots of guilt (and other messiness) - very tragic.

    I'll get the massage next week!

  4. Oh anjel...tough one. And I have decided just this moment that I too will schedule a massge next week. It has been a difficult week. Putting my mom in the nursing home is looming on the horizon, along with other issues. A Rev Gal field trip to the local spa...ah, wouldn't that be nice?

  5. oh Anjel... I'll be praying for you, and for the family...

  6. If y'all wouldn't mind... LadyBurg is officiating at the funeral of their long-time, much-loved music director today. I know that she would welcome prayers for her...

  7. prayers for both funerals then... and echoing Abi- good questions Mary Beth- You have got me thinking, thank you

  8. Beautiful connection of anointing and radical self-care, Mary Beth. Makes me feel even better about the massage I have scheduled for Holy Thursday and the haircut on Good Friday.

    Don't forget to take exquisite care of yourself this Holy Week.

  9. Mary Beth- you set me off thinking so much that I posted my thoughts Extravagant lessons

  10. This morning as I was getting ready for the day my mind drifted to the fact that at least as far as my schedule goes, tonight is the calm before the storm. then I thought, could the same have been true for Jesus the night before the original Maundy Thursday?

    My thoughts led me to write this.

  11. radical self care ... sounds revolutionary and just what Jesus would have recommended

    struggling with a sore throat and raised temperature here though - so prayers appreciated

  12. what a great take on this story...I love it.

    On the more traditional take, we used it to talk about getting ready for the 30-hour-famine...speaking of always having the poor, we don't need to always have the hungry when there really is food for everyone! or something like that.

    If you want to help out the RCLPC senior high youth with their fundraising goal (to raise enough money from sponsors to feed one child each--so $360 per youth participating), you can visit my blog to learn more and to donate online to their "learning about helping others" year.

    Happy Holy Wednesday...the calm before the storm, indeed.

  13. I thank God for all the revgals who lifted up prayers for the funeral we did today. The Holy Spirit was amazingly present with the family and over 300 grieving high school students. My rector (and mentor) gave an awesome sermon from the Luke text for Easter: "Why are you seeking the living among the dead?" It was an on-target message that she labored over intensely - even worked in the lyrics from an Amber Pacific song. It worked well. God is good.

    Massage next week!


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.