While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an ababaster jar full of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Some of the people there became angry and said to one another, “What was the use of wasting the perfume? It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor!” And they criticized her harshly.
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me. You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me.” Mark 14 3-7.
It is perhaps significant that no one asked Jesus, “Why? Why will we always have the poor with us?”
Is Jesus saying that God will always allow poverty in this world? Is He saying that all our efforts to help the poor are in vain?
Of course not. He is not saying this.
Jesus is reminding us that there will always be someone worse off than us. Someone who is poor in material things, poor in spirit, poor in health, poor in education or poor in Faith.
He is reminding us of our responsibility towards those in poverty in one way or another.
If we are fortunate to be rich, we should give to those who have not. If we are in good health, we should help those who are sick. And if our Faith is strong, we should help and pray for those who falter and fail in their walk with the Lord.
This is our responsibility to those who are poor in one way or another.
And with this responsibility comes a greater and more onerous one. That is to answer to Him when He asks us: “And what have you done with the riches I gave you?”