Today in holy week is Jesus’s anointing at Bethany. It is here one finds Jesus uttering every vulgar consumer capitalists favorite verse: “The poor you have with you always” (was Jesus listening to his handlers and P.R. people on this one, and trying to pander to the upper class republican vote?). The fact that Jesus is referencing Deuteronomy 15:11, "Since you always have the poor with you, I therefore command you,'Open your hand to the poor and needy in your land.'" is beside the point, what matters is that this verse justifies every selfish, oppressive, exploitative,(non)action on or for the poor by every citizen of every empire in all of history. So there’s no reason to even go into it really, if someone reads this verse that way then they have no clue who Jesus is, so what’s the point of even trying to explain it to them? Besides, I got my own self-centered consumption to deal with, and I don’t even have any bible verses to make me feel better about it (hmmm....so who is really the worst of disciples here?) Let’s face it, holy week can be pretty damn depressing, no wonder we added bunnies, peeps, and baskets full of corn syrup shaped objects to the holyday. In the long hard road of the pilgrim, this week is one of the hardest.
Mary (the ‘woman?’) that anointed Jesus for his death knew what a hard road laid ahead. Other than Jesus, only Mary I think really understood. I think she knew because she really loved him, not just her own projection or phantasy. The apostles it seems were thinking more about politics and programs, position and power. Mary didn’t just share the words and ideas of Jesus, she shared his pain, she took his sorrow into her own heart, and so she knew him like no other. Dostoevsky’s Father Zossima told the suffering woman in chapter 9, “Love in reality is a harsh and dreadful thing, compared to love in dreams.” Mary knew the dreadful reality, she knew the truth, and so she knew real love. Is there any other way? Blessings and obliged.