CATHOLIC HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK
THEME: THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: *Is 42 : 1 – 7, Jn 12 : 1 – 11.
The basic preoccupation of Christianity is to bring righteousness, peace and justice to the earth; the end of idolatry/cultism (1st commandment), the end of murder/ terrorism (5th commandment), the end of adultery/ immorality (6th commandment) and the end of stealing/ cheating/ avarice (7th commandment). Christ has come as a light to the nations to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon. The prophet Isaiah says, ‘He will not cry or lift up his voice in the street…but he will not fail till he has established justice in the earth’. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of gentility. Fighting fire with fire cannot be reconciled with Christianity for which force is always not only the last resort but a conditional resort.
There is so much of the spirit of Judas in our churches today. The spirit of Judas is the spirit of avarice and hypocrisy. Those who hide covetousness under the garb of charity have the spirit of Judas. Those who use Christianity to cover their ulterior wicked motives have the spirit of Judas. Those who partake in the Eucharistic communion but have no spirit of love and oneness of purpose have the spirit of Judas. I have seen even in churches where people initiate projects not really for the purpose of developing the Church of Christ but for the intention of personal aggrandizement and enrichment.
What Mary did in today’s gospel – anointing of Jesus’ feet was an exercise of love and gratitude to Jesus for the miraculous resurrection of Lazarus their brother from death, but it elicited an avaricious objection from Judas Iscariot. She gave the best she had – love, while Judas gave the worst he had – avarice. He put a price tag on Mary’s anointing – 300 denarius. A few days later, he was to put a price also for Jesus’ betrayal – 30 pieces of silver ( 10% commission, perhaps which he could have stolen from the charity project). It was monetization all the way! Piety had no place in Judas’ life or religion; all that mattered was money. But the truth is that many of us in the Church today have got some modicum of the spirit of Judas. Let’s repent in this Holy Week.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO
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