Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised
from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there,
and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those
reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus
and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
I remember the dedication of the new altar at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Winston-Salem when it belonged to Saint Benedict the Moor Parish. The bishop dumped the whole container of the Oil of Chrism on the surface of the altar and began to rub it in to the wood of the altar. Everyone was astounded at the extravagance of the gesture as the fragrance of the Chrism filled the whole Chapel.