The passage that I have read today, John 12:1-11, is beautiful and famous too. It is about Mary Magdalene who anoints the feet of Jesus with pure nard, which is very precious, and wipes his feet with her hair.
Jesus went, six days for Passover to Bethany, to Lazarus whom he had raised from the death, to have a supper. During this supper Mary Magdalene annoints Jesus his feet. There is tension in the story. One of the disciples, Judas, is angry that pure nard is bought for the anointment, because it was expensive. It should have been given to the poor in his view. But, the narrator says that Judas was not honest here, for Judas was a thief, he stole money from the moneybox that he kept. Jesus responds to Judas by saying that the poor would always be with them, but not he. He would depart from them. Jesus refers here to his upcoming death. The story ends with the account that the chief priests conspired to kill Lazarus too, because many people came to see the man who Jesus had raised.
I have asked some question about Maria, at least three questions are interesting to ask:
1. Why anoints Mary Magdalene the feet of Jesus?
2. How am I like Mary Magdalene?
3. How do I differ from her?
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I’ve used the Voyager Tarot to answer these questions
“Fear,” Seven of Cups came up as an answer to the first question.
Maria anoints Jesus feet to handle fear. Threats all around, she was aware that all soon would end and Jesus would be sentenced to death. Anointing his feet –the scent and the massage- helps is her way to help Jesus and herself, his fear and her fear for his suffering and death.
For the second question I have pulled the “Sensor,” the Woman of Wands here (Queen of Wands).
I am like Maria (the second question) in that I just like her perceive and sense the atmosphere and what is going on in an intuitive way. The sensor is a free and independent woman (you can see her dancing in the back of the card).
For the third question I have pulled the Sage of Cups, the healer in the Voyager Tarot.
I differ from Maria in the sense that she reaches out, and tries to help Jesus deal with it. By doing that, she helps and heals herself. She gives and helps herself as well with that. By anointing Jesus his feet Maria transforms and regenerates the situation they are in. She makes it bearable, and she gives dignity to the situation and to Jesus.
I do not do reach out to Jesus, never thought to do that. The similarity and difference between Maria and me are exemplary for my whole relation to Jesus in this Lent. I sense intuitively, I feel my way through these texts but I cannot regenerate and heal myself in the issues I have with Jesus (the themes of sacrifice and giving).