You can do what you can do

Jesus was having dinner when a woman came in and poured perfume all over his head; made from spikenard which was incredibly costly – it only grows in the foothills of the Himalayas. Some people complained this act of worship was a waste; what could have been done for the poor with all that money?!
Jesus’ reply is very interesting, not just for his unqualified commendation of the woman (She did a lovely thing!), but he says

“The poor you will always have with you…”


That could be seen as dismissive and uncaring, a justification for not getting involved with a world of need; where women today spend so much on perfume in our stores and others in poverty have to spend 40 million hours a year on the task of getting clean water. But let Jesus finish his sentence –

and you can help them any time you want.

Isn’t that a liberating truth? The poor are with us, in our cities nearby and in nations everywhere. You can help them any time you want.  Sponsor a child, feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the prisoner – and you’re doing it to Jesus who takes on ‘the disguise of the poor’ as Mother Teresa said. There’s plenty of poor people with you. Follow any of the links there and it’ll take you to an idea! You can help them any time you want.

You can make a difference for people who are being trafficked, asylum seekers, victims of natural disaster or genocide or the debt-bound.

Do you want to today?

‘She did what she could’

Jesus said.

Don’t do what you can’t. Do what you can.


Jesus thinks that’s a beautiful thing.

One thought on “You can do what you can do

  1. Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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