Mass Readings: April 18

First: Isaiah 42:1-7
Resp: Psalm 27:1-3,13-14
Gospel: John 12:1-11


"The house was filled with the ointment's fragrance." –John 12:3

My daughter has a bottle of perfume weighing four ounces. As a test, I asked her to fill the room with the perfume's fragrance. She only had to press the spray button twice and you could smell a strong fragrance clear across the room. Mary of Bethany poured the equivalent of four such bottles of perfume on Jesus' feet (Jn 12:3) and head (Mk 14:3). It's likely that every citizen in Bethany could enjoy the fragrance of Mary's perfume that afternoon!

Our faithful lives in Jesus are like that perfume. Our songs of praise are sweet-smelling (Sir 39:14). Our acts of love to others are a sweet fragrance (Sg 4:10). Even our charitable gifts for God's sake are fragrant (Phil 4:18). "We are an aroma of Christ for God's sake, both among those who are being saved and those on the way to destruction; to the latter an odor dealing death, to the former a breath bringing life" (2 Cor 2:15-16). Jesus "employs us to diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge everywhere" (2 Cor 2:14). Jesus uses even our very presence to change a house, neighborhood, school, workplace, etc. All we must do is remain in Jesus to keep our fragrance. When we smell good, we can change the entire atmosphere of a place simply by being present.

Jesus wants His house to be filled (Lk 14:23). Let's fill His house, the Church, with the sweet-smelling fragrance of our lives of faith in Him (2 Cor 2:16). On this Monday of Holy Week, pour out the fragrance of your life of obedient faith (Rm 1:5; Gal 2:19-20) as "a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord" (Lv 1:9).

PRAYER: Jesus, I want to do You a kindness (Mk 14:6) by pouring out Your holy love to all I meet this week.
PROMISE: "The Lord is my life's Refuge." –Ps 27:1
PRAISE: Theresa resolutely smiled and spread God's love to others on days she had little sleep and energy.