Today's Office of Readings gives us this gem from St. Augustine: "Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did [Christ] of himself have the power to die. Accordingly, he effected a wonderful exchange with us, through mutual sharing: we gave him the power to die, he will give us the power to live."
This "mutual exchange" that St. Augustine speaks of reminds us that God had to take on our human nature in order to die for our sins. "The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves."
Christ died so that we might live! These are the words that spur us on during Holy Week as we walk the road of the Passion with Jesus, and these words comfort us during times of trial as well. Today we bow before Jesus like Mary, the sister of Lazarus, and prepare him for his burial with perfumed oil. The fragrance that filled that house is the fragrance of the Divine. When this week is done and well into Easter may we also bear that Divine fragrance, for Christ through his death gave us the power to live!