Mary of Bethany represents Jesus’s clear message that he cuts through cultural expectations and desires to extend fellowship to all human beings, despite the hierarchy humans are often tempted to put into place which marginalizes and suppresses others.
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus, therefore, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary, therefore, took a pound[a] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor, you always have with you, but you do not always have me’” (John 12:1-8).