Have you ever thought this? I know that I have. Actually, those are the words of Jesus’ disciples in the Gospel of Matthew. “[A] woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head.” – [Matthew 26:7] We probably remember the story. The woman uses the costly perfume to anoint Jesus and His disciples objected. Then, Jesus corrected them.
Jesus corrects them by talking about how she has anointed His Body for burial mentioning that they will always have the poor, but they will not always have Him. What the woman did would seem like a waste to most. But Jesus sees the heart. She is putting her treasure where her heart is. “[W]here your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” – [Matthew 6:21]
So, does this apply to other places and people? Well, I gave my bride a nice ring to show her where my heart is. And she gave me one likewise to shows where her heart is. I cannot imagine it would go well if I asked my bride to sell her ring and give to the poor. And it should not. I have adorned her with treasure to show her where my heart is. To take anything back in such a manner would be insulting and a disgrace to our marriage.
And so it is likewise for the Church. And if you think there is a difference, you are right. The Church is not just anyone’s bride, but the Bride of Christ. If we adorned the Bride of Christ with beautiful statues, altars, paintings, etc. and then took them away to give to the poor, would not the Bride feel insulted? And if we insult the Bride of Christ, would Christ Himself look favorable upon our insult to His Bride? Indeed not.
We can do so much for the poor without having to take away adornments from the Bride of Christ. Surely, by adorning the Bride of Christ, we are providing a beautiful Church for all to see, similar to a museum. Of course, the best adornment we can give to the Bride of Christ would be a good and faithful heart, which we can do while also adorning her beauty and giving to the poor as well.
Jesus, You adorned Your Bride with blood and water from Your Pierced Heart to provider for and cleanse Her. Help us to give Your Bride our hearts as well.