WASTE

The scene is a middle eastern religious party, boisterous, they are celebrating something, but it’s too early for anyone to be drunk.  Then this woman gets up and smashes a 8 oz. bottle of a fantastically expensive French perfume – it’s like $6,000 an oz. – and she lets it spill over the head of the man she loves.  Sounds like a bad movie.  But it happened about 2,000 year ago in a village known by some as “Bethany.”  The woman was thought to be named Mary and she poured this perfume on the head of Jesus.  It’s the Gospel reading for the Monday before Easter since time immemorial.  The scent is potent.  They’ll smell it in the house for months… The man will reek of it for weeks.  WASTE, calls out one man jumping to his feet, extravagant waste!  Others angrily, loudly join in attacking her, such waste!  The man Jesus stands up and cries out, SHUT UP!  LEAVE HER ALONE!  There is silence. And the FRAGRANCE.  And the MAN with oil dripping down his beard.  Gently he says, She has anointed me for my funeral.  The woman is sobbing quietly.  The party is almost dead.  The first angry man storms out; his name is Judas.  Six days later Jesus is dead.  Three days after that the same woman is weeping at his tomb.  She smells a familiar scent; she hear her name gently spoken, MARY.