Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” – John 12:3-5
Mary shows tremendous love for Jesus in her act of anointing his feet. Perhaps it was out of gratitude for bringing back Lazarus, her brother, from the dead. She poured out her love upon Jesus in an extravagant way. It was not required, nor expected. She did it ‘just because’ she loved.
Judas responds not with love, but from a place in his heart that has turned to greed. He could not see the good thing Mary was doing for Jesus; he saw only a waste of money (money that he was accustomed to stealing from the community pouch that he carried).
There is another extravagance shown indirectly in this passage as well. We may ask, why would Jesus appoint Judas as the treasurer of the community? Jesus certainly could read hearts, and knew what was harboring in the heart of Judas. Yet, love draws near the one who is least lovable. Perhaps Jesus hoped that extending trust and responsibility to Judas, the message would be conveyed, “You matter to me Judas. I trust you.” Extravagant love extends trust to the very one who has the potential to destroy, with the hope of breaking through the wall that keeps them from the one who loves.
Jesus’ extravagant, loving trust bestowed toward Judas doesn’t open his heart as Jesus wanted it to, yet, Jesus loves anyways. Let us reflect on this example, of sometimes extending trust, knowing deep inside that it will be wasted. It would take a miracle for the other to come around and see the truth of your love. Let us love anyways.
May God bless you.