In the Gospel reading today, we read of Jesus’ visit to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As Jesus sat, Mary anointed His feet with an expensive oil and then wiped them with her hair.
Judas Iscariot became upset by her actions, but Jesus told him to leave Mary alone, for He understood what she was doing.
She was giving her best to Christ.
Imagine having Christ over for dinner. Imagine Him by your side to talk with, to eat with, and to laugh with. He was a friend to these three siblings, but they knew He was much more than a friend. They understood that He was the Messiah. And Mary treated Him as such. She gave the best of what she had to Him.
We can learn so much from this Gospel and from Mary’s actions. God has given us many blessings; in return, we must give Him our first fruits—the best of what we have.
What does that mean? It means that we must put Him first and foremost into our days. It means that we don’t forget about Him all day and remember Him two minutes before we drop into an exhausted sleep. We take time for Him.
Upon waking up, we say a prayer of thanks. During the day, we pause to pray for others, to talk to God, and to thank Him for the blessings we have. We set aside time in the evening to pray. We make sure that, for this amount of time, we are not distracted. We talk, and we listen.
In addition, we make time throughout our days to perform acts of kindness for people—even if these acts are small. They could include a simple gesture like holding an elevator for someone, smiling at someone, or paying for the person behind you in the fast-food line. Or they could include larger and more time-consuming acts like teaching CCE or volunteering at a homeless shelter or a crisis pregnancy center.
Remember that Christ taught that, in doing for others, we also do for Him. So everything we do for the people around us, we do for Our Lord.
And all of these things we do for God and for others show our love for Him.
God’s love for us is infinite. In fact, though we try, we cannot even imagine the depth of His love. As Christians, it is our duty and our responsibility to imitate that love and to show it to others.
Putting Christ first and doing good for others is giving Him the best of us.
And for this, He is surely pleased.
Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.
Feature Image Credit: Hannah Wernecke, https://unsplash.com/photos/8mqaLDl95I4