Living a both/and life in an either/or world
by Susan Russell
“No good deed goes unpunished” is an old axiom that comes to my mind every year when we hear the gospel story that begins our readings for Holy Week – the story of Mary’s extravagant outpouring of precious perfume as a gift to Jesus — a gift that earned her a tongue lashing from Judas in John’s account of a story told in three out of four gospels. Mark says, “They were infuriated with her.” Matthew says, “They murmured against her.” No matter who told the story, this part was consistent: Mary’s, best offering was judged and rejected by those surrounding Jesus who thought she should have made a different choice.
And then Jesus intervened.