Monday, September 13, 2010
On the Border
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”John 12:1-8
I got up very early this morning to leave home and fly across the country to the Mexican border. A group of Bishops, as the guests of the Diocese of Arizona are here in order to learn about the issues of immigration and migration. We are hear to open our hearts and minds to the people who live on the border in this heightened time of distrust and paranoia. They told us today more than 4.00 have died in the desert trying to cross the border since the wall has gone up and those are the bodies they have counted. Some people are missing and unaccounted for. Lives are daily hanging in the balance everyday and many will not be here in many days. They are people who have no choices left.
A woman anoints Jesus with expensive perfume in preparation for his death. She honored him, with the finest gift she knew how to give. All people want more than anything to be recognized as valuable, as precious by someone or a community. We know how precious this gift of anointing was, but we rarely recognize the least among us as deserving of honor and care.
We are here on the border to learn about those who are discarded by many, rejected by many others, but who are precious and honored by their families and communities - the ones whoa re lost and who never make it home. I am grateful and a little anxious about all I will learn in the coming days and the people who I will meet who will teach me a new way to honor Christ in every human being.