THE PRECIOUS BROKEN BOTTLE
Our Lord attended a banquet in Bethany, given by Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. The twelve apostles were there. In the course of the dinner, Mary Magdalen--if she be Magdalen--took perhaps what was the fruit of an evil life, namely some precious perfume, to give it to the Lord. In those days, women often carried precious nard in a bottle about the neck. If one of their beloved ones died, they would break the bottle over the corpse and then sprinkle the corpse with perfume and throw the remains of the bottle on the corpse. Mary Magdalen came to the feet of our Lord, for in those days they reclined at table. She did not do what you and I would do. She did not pour out that precious perfume drop by drop as if to indicate by the slowness of the giving the generosity of the gift. She broke the vessel and gave everything, for love knows no limits. Immediately the house was filled with perfume. It was almost as if, after the death of that perfume and the breaking of the bottle, there was a resurrection. Broken things are precious. We eat broken bread because we share in the death of our Lord and his broken life. Broken flowers give perfume. Broken incense is used in adoration. A broken ship saved Paul and many other passengers on the way to Rome. Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.