“What is it worth to gain the world and lose your soul?” Mary of Magdala learned that lesson the hard way – but she learned it! There are two accounts that best illustrate Mary’s conversion and devotion to the Lord: Mark 14: 3-10 and this one. Mary loved things. She spent time with men only because she loved things. She took care of her body so that she could sell her body and have more things. But everything changed after she met the Lord. She took a year’s wages (remember how she earned her money – the hard way!) and wasted it on an entire bottle of expensive oil and anointed the feet of Jesus. This aromatic oil was just as genuine as her love for the Lord was genuine. He had bought her soul with his mercy and love. Her Savior had shown her what it meant to be loved, to be human. The only one who resented the whole affair was Judas. Why? Isn’t he correct that the oil could have been sold and given to the poor?
Isn’t this what we still hear today, two thousand years later? Why give all that money to the Church? Do something better with it! Do some good with that money. Sarah Silverman, reportedly raised with no religion except that of anti-Catholicism, recently shared her inner most thoughts by stating that the Vatican should sell itself and feed the poor. How dare a multi-millionaire actress tell the world what only the Catholic Church should do? Why no mention of selling Mosques and Temples or New Age camp sites? Talk about blatant anti-Catholicism! Not only that, but what right would any Pope have to sell what does not belong to him? After all, the only reason why there is an accumulation of art and beauty is because it has never been sold. The beauty and the art were not donated to a Pope; it was given to the Church, to Christ. And isn’t this what Mary did? Did she not give her treasure, her beauty and her gift to the Lord? Is the donation from the donor not to be respected?
Ms. Silverman shares along with Judas not a deep-seated love for the poor but rather a deep-seated hatred for the body of Christ. There really is no love for the poor, but real hatred for Christ and his bride.
Even more recently we hear of an English billionaire who gave almost his entire wealth to the Church. As a penniless child, he went inside a Church, got down on his knees, and asked the Lord to make him a millionaire. If He did, he promised to give his wealth to the Church. Just last year he made good on his promise. Albert Gubay, founder of Kwik Save, knows who he belongs to and knows where his money should go. By helping the Church, he is helping Christ.
The Lord continues to be good to us. When many turn their backs on the Church for various reasons, the Lord continues to provide and set the example for others to follow. The imperfect Bride is made perfect by her Savior and we must continue to fight for His Bride. How we continue to be tempted to side with Judas! That is, to side with those who destroy rather than offer the world something to build. Mary chose life. Judas chose death.
What really made Judas so upset was not the oil but the fact that Mary worshipped Christ! She had a deep-seated love for the Lord because her heart was made whole again, totally undivided and never again to be divided among loves. Judas couldn’t take it anymore! We have a hard time being next to holy people when we ourselves are unholy. And because of this one act, it sent him over the edge. His hidden anger finally burst out. His deep-seated hatred for the Lord bore a spiritual suicide long before the physical one took place.
Adoration is unlimited love. Only God may be adored, because only God is unlimited goodness, truth and beauty. This is the greatest commandment: Love God above all things…and Mary chose the better part. She was crazy about the Lord and it is just as crazy not to be crazy about Christ as it is to be crazy about anything else! (Peter Kreeft)
God forbid we ever choose ourselves (or our possessions) over the Lord of Love. The results would be diabolic!