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Showing posts from November, 2008

The anointing of Jesus in Matthew 26

In Matthew 26, a woman anoints Jesus with very expensive perfume. The disciples are outraged... what a waste! This could have been sold, and the money given to the poor. On the face of it, they have a point.

The discourse immediately prior to the anointing scene concludes with separation of the “sheep and the goats” based upon their response those in need. The disciples’ suggestion that a valuable possession should have been sold and the money given to the poor is consistent with Jesus teaching to sell possessions to lay up treasure in heaven. In this sense, the disciples are “right”.

However, the apparently noble “ideal” of care for the poor is voiced in a way that is utterly graceless toward a woman who has acted with profound generosity. They have no qualms about embarrassing the woman, for they ask (rather than think) “Why this waste?”

Ideology is always a dangerous beast. Ideology over-values “the noble Cause” and depersonalises actual humans.

Imperfect human beings are capable of tu…

Miracles, medicine and mysteries

Earlier this year, my mother was diagnosed with a 5cm uterine tumour. She was then sent from the local clinic to Peter McCallum hospital in Melbourne for further tests and surgery.

Being my mother (who has had skin cancers disappear and blocked arteries cleared by the power of prayer in the past) she set about to pray. Sure enough, by the time her second appointment came around, there was no trace of anything.

The specialist at the follow-up appointment was informed that Mum and her friends had prayed. He just kept looking at the two sets of scans dumbfounded, shaking his head and saying "I've never seen anything like it".

It appears to be a true miracle.

I was so relieved my mum is OK. But I was left with a deep pang within. Why did my mother in her 80's receieve a miraculous healing, while my sister in her early 50's watched the slow progress of supposedly untreatable cancer through her bones? Why are a few graced with a miracle, but many others only graced with pe…