And I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, the good news is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.”
though shying away
from learning assurance
a deed of anticipation
no matter how incomplete
will grow in its own time
to sustain you tomorrow
the memory of your intention
will eventually break
every concrete bunker
you’ve protectively erected
such Dulcinaic memory
can but lead to a song of songs
bursting free of every barrier
On the Sunday before Easter, one of the lectionary options is the Liturgy of the Passion (all of Chapters 14 and 15). Given all that is in those chapters and a “holy week” context, the likelihood of a congregation hearing about the church’s memory of this anonymous woman is slight. It is much more likely messages will be about betrayal in the Garden and the gory details of a bloody atonement.
Since this woman is not referred to again we do have to question the lack of memory of her in the rest of Christian scripture. She is a Lady Wisdom figure for us and is just that discounted in the face of institutional orthodoxy and its overweening unity.
In my reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary [Wrestling Year B: Connecting Sunday Readings with Lived Experience237,] I wrote:
Preparing ourselves and one another for our burials is holy work as well as hard work. It turns out Works of Mercy are always available to participate in. We don’t spend as much time as we might on the Works of Virtue….
This is a pretty amazing state of affairs because our very nature or the gift we have been given leads us so consistently to dying.
Instead of focusing quite so much on a “Jesus died for my sins” approach to Good Friday, this long passage might lead us to ask about what it would take for us to join Jesus and be prepared to so live that others might live and take the consequences every age gives to those who so live. What anointing do you still need to open your eyes to how OK it is to live and die faithful to your nature or gift? This anointing would also allow us to know that it is alright to die before we see the completion of our work.
May you have your Bethany anointing, and that right soon.
And may your anointing be for good, remembered or not.