Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Monday: Divine Fragrance

In today's gospel, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed the feet of Jesus with perfumed oil.  This is not unlike the chrism that is used to the anoint the head of a child when he/she is baptized or used to anoint the hands of a priest at his ordination.  Chrism contains a special perfume that lifts our senses to the heavens.  I remember that the smell of the chrism rubbed on my hands during my ordination lasted for two days.  Recently, a friend of mine texted me a couple of days after I baptized her daughter to tell me that she had washed her daughter's hair several times after the baptism, but that the beautiful smell of the chrism was still with her and it reminded her of the baby's baptism.  We all carry the fragrance of the Divine.  The gospel tells us that when Mary was anointing Jesus' feet, the aroma filled the entire house.  The sense of smell also can transport us to heaven.  It is not unlike when we burn incense in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  The smell of incense reminds us of Jesus in our midst.

Today, may we remember that we were all anointed with this Sacred Chrism, with this special aroma, at our baptism and confirmation which means that we carry with us the fragrance of Jesus Christ.  May this reminder challenge us to better imitate our Lord and bring his presence wherever we go.