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.
Jesus said to the disciples, Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me. In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she did it to prepare me for the burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of her. Mt. 26:10-13< B>
The words of Jesus, The poor you will always have with you," have sometimes been misunderstood. Jesus was not saying that poverty is inevitable so theres not much you can do about it.
Jesus was quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy where Moses is giving a speech to the Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Moses tells them that there will be abundance in the new land and thus theres no reason for poverty.
Then, Moses recognizes, not in a complimentary way, that despite this abundance, the poor you will always have with you. In other words, even though there is enough for everybody, it will probably not be distributed fairly.
Far from simply accepting poverty as a fact of life, Jesus is quoting a passage that says that this should not be so.
In effect, he says: Why do you worry over this womans act of generosity, when you have accepted a system which leaves so many people in need?
Its a good question to think about during Lent.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.