The Why of Waste in Worship

Peace Connections

anointing-his-feet-2“What is the point of this extravagant waste of perfume?”

As a people concerned about the poor, we are ever watchful to issues of stewardship.  In our personal finances we are careful not to overindulge in material things, not merely because we elevate simplicity for its aesthetic value but because we choose instead to redistribute our wealth to causes which care for and empower the poor.  We challenge our parishes when too much attention is given to carpets, pipe organs, and jewel encrusted chalices.  We live by Mother Elizabeth Seton’s words, “The rich must live more simply, so that the poor may simply live.”  And yet as if to contradict our fundamental principle comes this story of extravagance and waste.

A woman, we don’t know her name, comes to Jesus.  A wealthy woman, dressed in the finest silks, she carries with her a beautiful, ornate vase.  Kneeling before Jesus, she…

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