What I love about this image this year is the extravagance. There have been Lenten seasons where I have needed things to be spare, lean, full of discipline, even somber... but this has not been one of them. This year, I've been thinking about how my wedding falls in Lent - a reason for celebrating. I've been noticing flowers everywhere, creeping out unseasonably early. This season, I keep signing greetings, "in this season of Lenten spring." So, I love Mary's outpouring of extravagant love in the midst of this Lent - of course, the whole house was filled with the scent of her gift. And maybe we need to smell that healing scent as much as Jesus did.
Afterall, today I heard the witness of a reporter who was present as a whole group of children were gunned down in Baghdad. A colleague experienced two deaths in her community. I wrestled with a frightening dream during the night, one that made my heart race... in this kind of world, I long for Mary's ministering presence. I long for her gift of seeing just what is needed to fill the house with fragrance. I long for her touch of healing balm.
O God, we give thanks for Mary and all your faithful disciples whose witness guides us through this Lenten spring. Continue to call us into both the tasks of life and help us experience moments of outpouring love.
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. - Psalm 126:5
As we discern our work and God's joy today,