In each of the Gospels we read of Jesus’ anointing by Mary Magdalene (Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:37-39; John 12:1-8) with nard (spikenard: a very costly perfume). The rebuke of the onlookers revealed their confusion of the two great commandments. They were so focused on the second, to love their neighbor as themselves, that the first and greatest commandment didn’t even come to mind: “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.“(Mk 12:30)
As Jesus said, we always have the opportunity to do good works for our fellow-man, to love our neighbor as ourself, whenever we want. However, the opportunity to be broken and poured out in loving abandon for Jesus our Lord … now that is an exquisite privilege not to be missed – and, indeed, it is the greatest love.