Imagine you are hosting a dinner to celebrate your best friend’s birthday. Before he or she arrives, you probably set the table with your fancy silverware and chill a nice bottle of wine. You make ready your home in anticipation of his or her coming, showing you truly care about them. In today’s Gospel, we hear how Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus with expensive perfume six days before his crucifixion. Just like you would prepare your house for a party, Mary prepares Jesus’ body for his death and resurrection.

We must anoint our own hearts and homes in preparation for Jesus’ return, a celebration of the world’s Salvation, made possible by his triumph over Evil. As we approach the end of Lent, let us remind ourselves that Lent is a time of preparation, during which we cleanse our hearts and minds of distractions to be ready to receive God’s love.

—Dana Coons is a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep. She is from Chicago and will be staying local for college, attending Northwestern next fall. Dana is a ballet dancer with the studio company of Ballet Chicago, and loves to paint, sing, play the piano, and bake.