Anointing of Christ by Mary Magdalene, Flemish painter Artus Wolfaerts

Fr. Cantalamessa references the passage of Mary anointing Jesus (Mark 14:3, John 12:3) in his book, Come, Creator Spirit: Meditations On The Veni Creator.

Granted, Fr. Cantalamessa is making a subtly different point, namely about breaking the alabaster jar, which releases the scent of the perfume, making a powerful analogy about the importance of setting free the Holy Spirit. However, in speaking of breaking the alabaster jar, he also draws another analogy to Christ:

The alabaster jar needs to be broken! When the woman broke the jar, says St. John, “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” The broken jar was a symbol of Christ’s humanity: pure as he was, he was truly “a vessel of alabaster” to be broken in his death on the cross so that the Holy Spirit within him could be poured out, to fill the whole Church and the whole world with the Spirit’s fragrance. “The Lord received a precious ointment (Myron) on his head to exhale the fragrance of incorruptibility upon his Church.”

Jesus was going to be condemned as a criminal. As such, he would have been denied the anointing rites after his death. Mary is seeing to his anointing now, before he dies.

We must be attentive to Christ in those around us! Our lives as believers must give off the fragrance of Christ.

Today’s Mass and Homily: