John 12:1-8 (Fifth Sunday of Lent)

Before the Anointing, KPB Stevens, linocut on amate paper, 2022

John 12:1-8

Six days before Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the village of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they gave a banquet in Jesus’ honor, at which Martha served. Lazarus was one of those at the table. Mary brought a pound of costly ointment, pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair. The house was full of the scent of the ointment. Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples—the one who was to betray Jesus—protested, “Why wasn’t this ointment sold? It could have brought nearly a year’s wages, and the money been given to poor people!” Judas didn’t say this because he was concerned for poor people, but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the common fund and would help himself to it. So Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You have poor people with you always. But you won’t always have me.”

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