Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: and of his greatness there is no end. ~Psalm 145:3
Ave Maria! Each year during Holy Week, I am instinctively drawn to one of the individuals intimately involved with our dear Lord Jesus and His saving Passion. This time it is Mary of Bethany, who, six days before the Passover, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. Today I am pondering Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet's reflection on this anointing from his book Meditations for Lent. This passage in particular pierces my heart:
"To anoint Jesus with a fragrant balm is to praise him. To anoint his head is to praise and adore his divinity, for 'the head of Christ,' as St. Paul says, 'is God' (1 Cor 11:3). To anoint his feet is to adore his humanity and its weakness. To wipe his feet with her hair was to place all her beauty and vanity beneath his feet. Thus did she sacrifice all to Jesus. Him alone she wished to please. How could the hair that had touched the feet of Jesus ever be put to the service of vanity again? This is how Jesus wants to be loved. He alone is worthy of such love, of such homage.
"...let us anoint Jesus. Let us breathe out from our hearts tender desire, chaste love, sweet hope, continual praise. If we wish to love and praise him worthily, let us praise him by our entire life; let us keep his word. Let us open our hearts to him and say with St. Paul that he is 'our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification' (1 Cor 1:30). Let us sing to him the sweet songs of the people he has redeemed: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!' (Rev 5:12) This is what every creature ought to sing to him; this is the costly oil of anointing that we should pour forth from our hearts."
Yes, God, whose greatness we cannot fathom, alone is worthy (Ps 145:3). His name alone is to be exalted (Ps 148:13). Humility teaches me that absolutely nothing that I pour forth from my heart will ever be enough to honor and thank Him for His goodness to me. Love teaches me that no gift is too small for He delights in the very offering of ourselves. Mercy teaches me that a broken and contrite heart He will not spurn for He is gracious and compassionate (Ps 103:8). I shall learn my lessons well. And with joyful confidence, over and over again I shall break open the alabaster jar of my poor heart, sacrificing all to Jesus in love as Mary of Bethany did, striving to adore and please Him alone.
I adore You,
lay my life before You,
how I love You!