|The fruit of the betrayal of Judas -|
never "Lord" always "Master"
Today, the sixth day before the paschal feast is the day when Judas showed his true nature when he objected to a bottle of spikenard, expensive ointment, being lavishly applied to the feet of the Lord.
One might think, like Judas, that a few drops of perfume would suffice and the remainder saved to be eked out or, as Judas suggested, sold in order to provide money for the poor.
But no, Mary (Magdalen?), who gave of her precious ointment so freely, recognised the Kingship of Christ and His forthcoming death and paid Him tribute accordingly, and the Iscariot was the lone voice among the Apostles who meanly objected.
But he had stood out as a loner before the Bethany incident; he alone was a non Galilean, coming from Carioth, a city of Judah.
And it was Judas who always called Jesus "Master" rather than "Lord" as the others called Him. Was this a sign of the Iscariot's discomfort with the divine element? Was he perhaps a closet socialist who believed in a life on earth rather than an afterlife in heaven?
Important also, to remember that he voluntarily approached the High Priests with an offer to surrender Our Lord into their hands, he was not seduced by an offer of cash; that came as a secondary part of the deal.
The full extent of Judas's treachery was to show itself, of course, at the Last Supper when Our Lord stated that one of the twelve would betray Him, resulting in the exit of Judas from the assembly, ostensibly, to make arrangements for the Passover.
Instead, he alone among the twelve, went to connive at bringing about the downfall of Christ; the demonic entered into him at the Last Supper and stayed with him through the betrayal and subsequent self recrimination.
The devil was with Judas right up the the moment that he committed the ultimate folly of destroying his own life by hanging himself.
Is there, perhaps, a one in twelve element in the Church today? When priests, religious and laity fail to stand by the teachings of Christ and seek, instead, to apply more secular answers to matters of theology?
Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that among those priests attending his retreats, there would always be one or two among the 20 or 30 delegates that would become restless at talk of the Supreme Sacrifice, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Christ.
We have seen a consistent refusal among some priests over the past forty years or so, to all that emanates from Rome in terms of doctrinal truths, this is the Judas element, the demonic, at work.
Was that demonic unrest in evidence in Bedford Square on 30th April when the anti life mob began baying at the twelfth Station of the Cross?
"Six days before the paschal feast, Jesus went to Bethany. Bethany was the home of Lazarus, the dead man whom Jesus raised to life.
And a feast was made for Him there, at which Martha was waiting at table, while Lazarus was one of His fellow-guests.
And now Mary brought in a pound of pure spikenard ointment which was very precious, and poured it over Jesus' feet wiping His feet with her hair; the whole house was scented with the ointment.
One of His disciples, the same Judas Iscariot, who was to betray Him, said when he saw it, "Why should this ointment not have been sold? It would have fetched three hundred silver pieces, and alms might have been given to the poor."
He said this not from any concern for the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and took what was put into it.
And Jesus said: "Let her alone; enough that she should keep it for the day when my body is prepared for burial. You have the poor among you always; I am not always among you."
A great number of the Jews heard that He was there and went out there, not only on account of Jesus, but so as to have sight of Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.
Gospel of St John 12, 1-9