Bible Reading: Mark 14:1-11
Why berate her for doing such a good thing to me? Mark 14:6
BROTHER SUN, Sister Moon is a classic movie about the life of St. Francis of Assisi. As the son of a wealthy textile merchant, Francis is destined to live a life of ease as a successful businessman. But after he trusts in Christ, the young man grows uncomfortable with his wealth in light of the poverty that abounds in his community. He feels that since Christ gave up the treasures of heaven to serve others, he must follow suit. He walks away from his father’s wealth and lives his life in poverty as he ministers to the needs of the poor.
In Mark 14, you get a glimpse of two individuals. One, like St. Francis, felt money was no object in making a tribute to Christ the King. The other had such a craving for money that it led him to perform the most horrifying deed in history.
Two days before the Last Supper, a woman visited Jesus and poured a bottle of high-priced perfume over his head. It was a loving, respectful recognition of Jesus’ lordship. “What a waste!” some of the disciples thought. “We could have sold that bottle and helped a lot of poor people with the money.” Not a bad idea, really. But there’s a time for using money to help the needy, and there’s a time for using money to make a tribute to our Lord and King.
Then there’s Judas, whose greed paved the way for his downfall. John tells the truth about Judas: “Not that he cared for the poor-he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use” (John 12:6). The chief priests recognized Judas’s craving for money and paid him to betray Jesus (see Mark 14:11).
So how can you pay tribute to Christ the King like that generous woman did when Jesus isn’t here in the flesh? One great way: In Christ’s name honor someone who is here in the flesh. Here are a few suggestions for paying tribute to Christ through someone else:
- Buy your pastor or youth leader a gift-a book, CD, gift certificate, etc.
- Donate to charity in thanks for Christ’s lordship over you.
- Make a sacrificial contribution to your church’s building fund.
“Tribute gifts” take on even more meaning to you if you give them anonymously. It’s a way to help you keep your focus on the real purpose of the gift-bringing honor to Christ. He will be the only one who knows what you have done. It’s a practical, loving way you can declare Christ’s lordship with your possessions.
REFLECT: How can you honor Christ by giving to someone right in front of you?
PRAY: God, build in me a heart that’s grateful for everything you have given me and a heart that recognizes your greatness.