“Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial’” (Matthew 26:10-12).

You cannot have any great life without sentiment. Life is not all cold logic. The bad spirit cannot understand lavish generosity, spiritual suggestiveness or religious sentiment. Only the beautiful soul can understand the beautiful act. Jesus Christ understood the woman and told her what it meant, though she did not know it.

We do not know the meaning of our best acts. Jesus now becomes the Giver, making His voice heard above the objections. He tells the disciples what the woman has done. She gave the ointment. He gave the explanation, and in that explanation we have revelation. Our deeds mean more than we sometimes mean them to mean, says Christ. “She did it to prepare Me for burial.” This was a new idea; the woman did not intend to suggest death and burial when she came with that perfume. “Ah, but that is exactly what she did,” says Christ.

He gives our actions such great meaning and amplitude of significance! He interprets our prayers and seems to stretch them across the sky, whereas we did but mutter them in helpless and inarticulate necessity. Such is the wonder of Christ!

Adapted from In His Presence