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In Memory of Her

Statue of MaryIn Mark 14 and Matthew 26 we read of Jesus being anointed by a woman while visiting the home of a man called Simon the Leper. The story ends with Jesus’ words, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matthew 26:13, TNIV).

We should take Jesus’ comment seriously and thus look for ways to remember and honor this woman. Below is one such way–a prayer to be read in response to this gospel story.

“Great God, Lord of lepers, Prince of peasants, you who are Lord of both wealth and poverty, you who make possible every beautiful act: We thank you for this storied woman, for her boldness and her humility, for her loving act and her lavish gift. We thank you for her life, though to us it remains in shadows; we thank you all the more for the events her scandalous story foreshadowed. May we, like she, glimpse your glory. May we, like she, play our part in the gospel story. Amen.”



  1. Jeanine Moss
    Comment #99966 posted March 23, 2013 at 8:32 am

    One of the least-fulfilled prophecies of all time!!

  2. Liz Liz
    Comment #99999 posted March 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    And yet….Jesus said that wherever the gospel was preached her story would be told. It wasn’t a command, just a statement. Maybe Jesus meant that it would be read as people read the accounts leading up to his death ?

    Wonderful to have this account in the bible and we can draw attention to it in case it gets missed.
    I led communion once with an alabaster box which someone gave us and used that verse. Very special and so honouring for the woman who was criticised by other men present at the time.

    • Susan
      Comment #100273 posted March 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      What a lovely way to present communion, Liz!

  3. Liz Liz
    Comment #100260 posted March 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Wondering if others are having difficulty getting comments to publish.

  4. Comment #100262 posted March 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I taught about this from Luke 7:36-50, in our Bible Study group. Her courage and devotion is amazing.

  5. Susan
    Comment #100272 posted March 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    It dawned on me while reading this account once that this woman understood that Jesus had to die. While his disciples are vying for places at his right hand, she is the lone figure who hears and accepts and tenderly affirms his prediction.

    Carolyn Custis James makes this very point in her book When Life and Beliefs Collide. She identifies the woman as Mary of Bethany (from the John 12 account) and makes the remarkable claim that Mary is ministering to Jesus specifically as he faces his death, that she is encouraging him for the sacrifice she understands he is about to make. Amazing!

    • Jeanine Moss
      Comment #100327 posted March 29, 2013 at 9:12 am

      And it is not the only place in Scripture where a woman seemingly “gets it” before the men do.

    • Comment #100330 posted March 29, 2013 at 9:57 am

      It is also amazing that she quietly walks right into the midst of men who despised her, knowing that Jesus did not, knowing His great Love for everyone. While the Pharisees in their ignorance were critical, judgmental and arrogant in their thoughts. She did what was unseemly to rejoice over the Anointed One’s unthinkable sacrifice and Love for humanity.

      Wonderful happening in history.

  6. Liz Liz
    Comment #100342 posted March 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t think there is another reference in the bible where Jesus says that someone will be remembered throughout history, throughout the whole world. This demonstrates how immensely important this act was and how notable and worth being recorded, translated and repeated by innumerable people in hundreds of languages
    This famous woman would have had no idea that we would be talking about what she did centuries ago!

  7. Deborah
    Comment #100395 posted March 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm


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