The first time the nearsighted young woman put on glasses, her response was, “Look, those trees over there have leaves too!” Her world greatly changed when everything came into focus. So it is on our pilgrimage toward healing and joy.
The Gospel writer contrasts the constant presence of the poor with Jesus’ soon-to-be absence. Jesus will be with the disciples and his friends for just a little longer. Only Mary seems aware of his impending departure. And the poor remain. Jesus’ statement defends Mary’s action and speaks to Judas’s feigned concern for the poor.
Like the little girl with the new glasses, things have come clear for Mary. She views matters from a different perspective, sees things in a new light. Judas remains myopic.
And like Mary, we can come clear about our focus. Situations and people offer opportunities for our intuition and service. We become anointers. We become aware of the struggles and needs of friends and family, and we anticipate ways of helping and healing. Each party gains strength from the other, and the burden carried by two people lightens the load.
We begin to let go of our ancient history, and new things begin to spring forth—a new way in the desert. God charts the course through the desert, providing rivers of refreshment not only for the journey but also for the journey of those we serve.

O God, may we become anointers, aware of needs and taking action. Help us perceive the new thing you’re doing. Amen.

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