Moving Beyond Practicality

Written by: Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

Here we are in Holy Week. One of the readings for this week reminds us of the woman Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet and anointing him with costly perfumed oil. Judas complains loudly about the impracticality, the waste of such an act. There is an aside letting us know that he’s upset because he was skimming off the proceeds from the charity funds for the poor, where the money could have gone from selling this expensive perfumed oil. Jesus speaks out in support of Mary’s seeming impracticality.

Sometimes we have those moments of outrageous acts that are beyond practicality. Maybe it’s a large donation that we have offered spontaneously at a fundraising event. Maybe it’s that stack of Girl Scout Cookies we purchased even though we know we don’t need them, so that the girls can participate in activities. It could be a more extravagant gift that we gave to a couple starting out their married life together. Perhaps we sponsored a child through a trusted charity even though that amount we gave might seem impractical in our budget.

Others might question our actions when they don’t see the use of them. But, when we do something outrageous in service to God and God’s people, we aren’t going wrong. Blessed Angela Truskowska was bold in her service of God’s people. She persevered through trying times in order to make certain that those in need received care and support. The Felician Sisters continue to act in solidarity with those in need. It might not seem practical, but it is what is right.

As we move through Holy Week, let us consider how we might participate in those outrageous acts that are beyond practicality, but are in service to God’s people. May we continue in our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving even beyond the expectations of our Lenten disciplines. Our God is an awesome God, a God of extravagance and abundance for all. May we be Jesus’ hands in the world to pour that costly perfumed oil out over all as a sign of God’s unending love.

Blessed Angela: “My God, I do this for your glory, to please you. O Jesus, bless this activity and unite it with your Holy Passion.”

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