Hair and Perfume


Mary Anoints Jesus by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib

Jar a-tilting, oil spilling,
aroma filling, nostrils widen.

Hair uncovered, tresses flowing,
oil clutching to her locks.

Soft voice speaking to her weeping:
“Thank you, Mary, for your gift.”

A poem/prayer based on John 12:1-8, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel reading for Year C, Fifth Sunday in Lent.

Illustration from a 1684 Arabic manuscript of the Gospels, copied in Egypt by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (likely a Coptic monk). In the collection of The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md. (on page 51 of the .pdf copy of the document released by the museum under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license).

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