Readings: Mark 14:1-9 and John 12:1-8
The remarkable thing about this little village just over the hill from Jerusalem is that it offered a welcoming home to Jesus during this entire week. Bethany was the village of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. We can assume all their extended families lived there as well. They were all Jesus' friends, which underscores the importance of our families to support and sustain us. But there is more. This family did something courageous: they were able to discern God's will in this moment for Jesus and support Him in it. They loved Him and did not choose to dissuade Him from the fate that awaited Him. When Mary anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, it became a symbolic anointing for the work He would accomplish through His death later in the week. It was a lavish gift, but more importantly, through her action, Mary showed her acceptance of the reality of Jesus' impending death.