Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil and poured it on his head wile he was reclining at table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, Why this waste? It could have been sold for much and the money given to the poor. Mt. 26:6-9
This unnamed womans kind act toward Jesus sharply contrasts with the plot of the religious leaders to kill him.
In Matthew, her act is also in sharp contrast to the reactions of Jesus disciples who are annoyed at her largesse. Some have suggested that Matthew notes this because the community for whom he wrote had many people of means. He was directing a message to those who were overly concerned about money.
The traditional Lenten practice of almsgiving nudges us to lavish our largesse upon the poor. What would happen if I took a large bite out of a weeks paycheck and gave it to the poor? I cant do that every week, but then again this is Lent.
It wouldnt erase world poverty. But it would have a large effect upon me, and remind me that all creation including my possessions belongs to God.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Born of Christian parents near the end of the first century, Polycarp was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist and frequently quoted him and other eyewitnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, Polycarp is often viewed as the link between the Church of the apostles and the post-apostolic Church.
Polycarp served as bishop of Smyrma (modern-day Turkey.) At age 86, he was burned at the stake for his faith.
Polycarp was a contemporary and friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Ignatius writes about Polycarp in his epistles to the Magnesians and the Ephesians, and in his seventh epistle which is addressed to Polycarp.
St. Irenaeus also mentions Polycarp several times in various letters, including a letter to Pope Victor in which Irenaeus describes Polycarps visit to Rome regarding a controversy over the date for Easter.