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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Everything's All Right

It is Wednesday of Holy Week. The movement toward executing Jesus has begun. Jesus is anointed for burial by the woman with the alabaster jar. Judas takes the bait.

Here is the text, Mark 14:1-11:
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; 2for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’

3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. 6But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Here is my post from the last time I did this series, In Memory of Her.

This is from the 2000 Broadway version of Jesus Christ Superstar:




The eroticization of the unnamed woman. Tradition has conflated the stories of this unnamed woman, the woman Jesus rescues from stoning, the woman who washes Jesus' feet and dries them with her hair all into the person of Mary Magdalene, claiming that Mary was a prostitute and the seven demons Jesus had driven out had something to do with sex.

Mary Magdalene was slimed by the hierarchy of the church as "the sinner."

The lesson to be learned here is that the unnamed woman receives the highest praise of any human being in the Gospel of Mark, the New Testament's earliest gospel.

She--more than Judas, more than the other disciples--understands what it means to follow the executed God. She understands the way of the cross and its cost.
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