“But you have the anointing that comes from that comes from the Holy One and
you all have knowledge.” 1 John 2:20
One of the quips that I jokingly remind others is that “Christ” is not Jesus’ last name. Rather, it is a title that means “the Anointed One.” During his lifetime, Jesus never baptized anyone but he was associated on several occasions with both anointing (as in the story of the man born blind) and in being anointed (as in the story of the anointing at Bethany). These anointings were most often associated with healing and transformation, the sign of Jesus’ kenotic (self-emptying) love that he cosmically showered with great generosity upon all of humanity. On this seventh day of Christmas, which is also the last day of the year, I am still pondering with gratitude the mystery of the Incarnation in terms of the tangible symbols and rituals that Christianity has preserved. Sacramentally, we are anointed at both baptism and confirmation. Spiritually, what does this mean? On New Year’s Eve, in the wake of resolutions tomorrow, I sit with this question once again. What invitation does this anointing hold out to me this coming new year? Beyond the symbol lies a deeper truth that I must continue to discern. I pray to be open to whatever is asked of me. Pictured above are heart bottles of rose-scented oil that were presented at a recent women’s retreat. We promised at the end of that retreat to go forth and remember who we are – drawn, sealed. and anointed by the Beloved who pursues and desires us with unrelenting passion. May our anointing empower and sustain us throughout the challenges ofl this new year.