Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (12: 1-11) in which Jesus is at Bethany where Lazarus, Martha and Mary live, and Mary anoints His feet with a jar of expensive perfume. Fr Paul says this the story of the anointing of Jesus’ feet with costly ointment at Bethany. In Mark and Matthew Gospels the woman is unnamed, but as we hear in John’s Gospel, he names her as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. John is more familiar with Jerusalem and its environs than are Mark, Luke and Matthew, and he may have a family member as his source.   Mary’s act of loving, personal affection and devotion is treasured. John’s comment that the scent filled the whole house shows a touching approval, too. It will be remembered that Mary was the sister who stayed listening at Jesus’ side while Martha was the one who busied herself with practical details. This casts Mary as a figure of prayer and listening. Her sign of affection must have been valuable to Jesus as he rested at Bethany after the threatening controversies in the Temple. His response shows just how tense Jesus must have been after those arguments with the Jews and the leaders. It makes Judas’ comment seem a bit brutal – no matter how practical it might have been on other occasions. Fr Paul puts this Gospel challenge to us for our reflection – Mary again sits at the feet and Jesus and as an act of love she prepares Jesus for burial. As Holy Week begins let us sit and listen with love.