As we are nearing to the end of this Holy Lent , Fr. Lijo Velliyamkandathil from Kalyan Diocese, explains the significance of Kozhukatta Perunal. Fr. Lijo highlights that “Kozhukatta Saturday is celebrated on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Traditionally it is known as Lazarus’ Saturday. The gospel reading of the day gives us a deep insight of this observance. We find that Jesus is coming to Lazarus’ house 6 days prior to Pesaha. The count from this day to Pesaha amounts to be 6 days. Martha, Mary and Lazarus hosted a great dinner for Jesus. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Fr. Lijo explains that “In order to relive the whole episode of Jesus being with that family, on this day many prepare a dish called Kozhukatta – sweet rice balls mixed with coconut and spices to commemorate Jesus’ dinner at Lazarus’ house. The Kozhukatta symbolizes the round shaped bottle of Nard perfume used to anoint the feet of Jesus. This act of Mary made her to become the fragrance of Jesus. In such a way after six weeks of self purification during the Great lent, the faithful becomes worthy to be the aroma of Jesus as exhorted by St. Paul in the second letter to Corinthinas.”
The priest added that “After supper the head of the family blesses the Kozhukotta with the sign of the cross and distribute it among the family members and eat it with devotion as if they are dining with Jesus in order to become His fragrance. Also there exist notions of Kozhukotta as the stone used to throw at Jesus or a particular dish given to Jesus on that day, which would not be of apt certitude. There is a tradition of making a dish called peechampidi along with Kozhukatta which is not that tasty as kozhukatta as it resembles the silver coin purse of Judas who wished to sell the perfume for money.”
Fr. Lijo reminds the faithful that “The celebration of this day impels us to revive ourselves. It urges us to get out of the stinking and reeking smell caused by the commission of sins. The reception of the Sacrament of Confession enables us to become the sweet aroma – fragrance of Jesus. May the merciful Lord bless us with the sweet fragrance of forgiveness. Amen. Thank you.”