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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Momento Amore

A few times over the years I have caught the scent of my wife’s perfume on my clothes; not of course self-applied, but caught on my clothes by her warm proximity and embrace. The whiff is welcome, the carriage is without embarrassment, and the experience is a momento of her love. A momento amore.

So it was at that first Easter when Mary poured her precious perfume on Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair. Jesus must have carried the scent all the way through that Easter week, and without embarrassment; but so did she, every time her hair moved across her face. The scent of what? Romantic love? No. The scent of appreciation for the return of her brother Lazarus by this One who said, “I am the resurrection and the life”, and the scent of assurance that Jesus knew what he was doing in his dangerous advance to Jerusalem.

“She poured perfume on my body beforehand,” said Jesus, “to prepare for my burial.” Did Mary have some perception that Jesus would die? Some perception that He would have to die? Jesus gives a wonderful interpretation to her action, but was this her prior understanding? One thing is clear: Mary could have spread her perfume on Jesus’ feet with a spatula, but she chose to make the application with her hair, to show her love, to give her worship, and to compose a way for Him to remember her, and for her to secure a momento amore.

DM 20th April 2020

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