Lent Day 3: First Friday in Lent — The Supper in Simon’s House.

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The Supper in Simon’s House.

Read St. Mark xiv. 3-11.

[3] And when he was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard: and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head. [4] Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made? [5] For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

[6] But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me. [7] For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always. [8] She hath done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint my body for burial. [9] Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memorial of her. [10] And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them.

[11] Who hearing it were glad; and they promised him they would give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Supper at Simon’s House (Tissot)

1. The supper in Simon’s house was remarkable for St. Mary Magdalene’s act of devotion to our Divine Lord.  She brought an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard, and poured it on His head as He sat at table. Her gift was very pleasing to Our Lord for three reasons: (a) she gave of her best; (b) she gave out of pure love; (c) she gave in presence of the assembled guests, fearlessly and knowing that men would ridicule and blame her. Are the gifts I give to God marked by generosity, supernatural love, absence of all human respect?

2. Some of those present, instigated by Judas, began to criticise what they regarded as waste. They had indignation within themselves and showed it in words.  They veiled their grumbling under show of charity to the poor.  This was very displeasing to Jesus.  He hates the spirit that finds fault and criticizes and condemns, and all the more when it hides itself under the cloak of virtue.  Yet is not this spirit strong in me?

3. Notice the gratitude of Jesus.  A little box of ointment poured on His head earns for the donor a commemoration of her gift wherever the Gospel shall be preached in the whole world.  And not only this: it obtains for her also many graces on earth and great glorv in heaven.  There is no one who is so grateful as Jesus Christ; no one who will reward with such divine generosity everything done from love to Him.  Nothing will be forgotten, nothing is too small to be noticed and richly recompensed by Him.

Photo by Lawrence OP


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