Yesterday we saw Jesus at Bethany with his best friends. Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary is alive after being dead for 4 days and so they throw a party for Jesus. Martha serves dinner and Mary does something seemingly foolish. She brings out the extremely expensive perfumed oil that she kept (i just looked up aromatic nard: a plant grown in India, the oil of which was preserved in an alabaster container) and she pours it on Jesus’ feet.
And Judas wasn’t having that: “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” but St. John tells us that he said that not because he cared about the poor but because he used to steal from the contributions. Judas thought merely in terms of dollars and cents but Mary loved. He was blind to who Jesus was whereas Mary saw Him with perfect clarity. It was no waste of the oil…because it was poured on God Himself. Mary of Bethany teaches us to be generous with the Lord. To do everything for Jesus…and the fragrance will “fill the room”.
Perhaps Judas also missed what Jesus said about doing things for the least of His brethren.
Today Jesus mentions that He will be betrayed by one of them…and He warns Peter of His denial. We have ourselves, at times in our lives, both betrayed and denied Jesus–whom we professed to know for years! Peter and Judas basically committed the same sin. Peter’s repentance is one of faith leading him to believe in Jesus’ forgiveness. Judas however is truly blind to who Jesus is. It’s very striking that Judas always refers to Jesus merely as ‘Rabbi’ never as ‘Lord’ (from what i know). His faith has severely deteriorated and along with it, his love for Jesus—thus leading him into hopelessness.
Jesus glanced at Peter and that was all it took! Jesus called Judas “friend” but he did not receive it. Jesus is Our Savior…let us never be blind to this saving truth!
“I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus Our Lord is the Light of the World, the Sun of Justice. There is a battle between light and darkness. The devil makes use of Judas in the foolish attempt to snuff out the Light. St. John tells us: “So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.” And St. Luke records that Jesus says on the night of His arrest: “Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.” The ‘joke’ is on satan because “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In darkness we betrayed you.
In mortal fear denied;
In cowardice we judged you.
In sin, we crucified;
Yet you look down in mercy
From on your cross above.
And you forgive our blindness
In your redeeming love.
– O Sacred head surrounded