Daily Reading for April 18 • Monday in Holy Week
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
In loving this body, that is, the church, bring water for his feet and kiss his feet, not only pardoning those who have become enmeshed in sin but by your peace giving them harmony and putting them at peace. Pour ointment on his feet, that the whole house wherein Christ reclines at table may be filled with the odor of your ointment, that all at table with him may be pleased with your perfume. In other words, pay honor to the least.
From a letter of Ambrose to his sister, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVb, John 11-21, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007).