The Worst Sort of Poverty

Christian Wallpaper
Watercolor painting by French painter James Tissot named The Ointment of the Magdalene (Le parfum de Madeleine) (1886-1894) depicting Mary Magdalene kneeling before Christ, anointing his feet with costly nard oil, and wiping them with her hair, a gesture of deference and devotion with the quote: Judas thought Mary’s anointing was wasteful, preventing the costly nard from benefitting the poor. In point of fact, it served precisely that purpose... for the worst sort of poverty is to be unaware of or unmoved by the Savior’s presence. Are we willing to “waste” our lives for the love of Jesus? To be embarrassingly attentive to him?—Magnificat, April 15, 2019
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Judas thought Mary’s anointing was wasteful, preventing the costly nard from benefitting the poor. In point of fact, it served precisely that purpose... for the worst sort of poverty is to be unaware of or unmoved by the Savior’s presence. Are we willing to “waste” our lives for the love of Jesus? To be embarrassingly attentive to him?—Magnificat, April 15, 2019

Original piece by James Tissot on BrooklynMuseum.org.

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Reflection

“Wasting” Costly Time at Daily Mass

Some time after my reversion, I sought ways to draw closer and closer to Christ. The closest we can get to Him here on Earth is to receive Him in the Eucharist, which is offered at Mass. However, I wondered how to “fit” daily Mass into my hectic schedule. My father put things in perspective for me. He proposed, “The question is not, ‘How do I fit Mass into my life?’ but rather, ‘How do I fit everything else around Mass?’ ”

A tectonic perspective shift occurred within me at that moment. I had been looking at my priorities so backwards. How could I primarily place my earthly obligations over receiving Christ? Everyday, whenever possible, must contain a little Golgotha: a time of sacrifice and dying of myself, a dying of my earthly desires. The bad that dies in me by making this sacrifice decomposes, and through the Eucharist it is brought to new life. We are what we eat, and so I become a bit more like Christ when I receive him in Communion.

My selfish, calculated self would often consider the “time lost” by going to daily Mass, but I’ve found that, when I go, the day changes. I am set on a new contingency of life events. I find myself more clear-minded and at peace, or those I interact with at work are more willing to help, or are at least less abrasive. While I may have “lost” an hour on paper, I gain that back by God’s grace in some way. There is always at least a spiritual gain, and often He provides much more.

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