The story of Jesus includes many moments around tables, as this was part of his ritual of relationship even to the last. In this fifth week of the Lent season, in John 12:1-8, we will hear a story of love and devotion from the disciple Mary, directed at Jesus at the table. As we will see, Jesus tries to prepare his beloved companions for his death. Talk of death is like a gut-punch to many of us; we would rather believe we and our loved ones are invincible, are able to will ourselves into being strong. We all know that isn’t always how the story goes. We are fragile. Our lives, like the plants in the gardens we tend, are susceptible to elemental dangers and a life-cycle of letting go in order to live. Jesus speaks the words no one wanted to admit: he was not always going to be around. “Oh, don’t say that,” so many of us have said to a loved one who speaks the truth about the fragility of life. Perhaps we get uncomfortable because it reveals the precious nature of the present moment, laying bare the beauty and horror of it all. The indescribable pain we know we will one day face invades our senses like a pervasive perfume, inescapable. What if we stopped denying the limited nature of our lives and breathed in deeply the fragrance of vulnerability?