Skip to content

MONDAY HOMILY: Judas the Accountant

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds
3/25/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Judas cloaks his vice under the appearance of virtue.

SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic Online).  The apostle Judas is one of the principal figures in the Gospel accounts of Holy Week.  Even though Jesus earlier alludes to the evil to which Judas has surrendered himself (cf. John 6:70-71), it is in the twelfth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John that we catch our first real glimpse of the character of Judas Iscariot.

Not only is Judas avaricious and thieving, but what is worse, he cloaks his vice under the appearance of virtue.  In the days before Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Lord visits Bethany and dines in the home of his friends, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.  The Gospel describes how Mary anoints the feet of the Lord with costly perfume.  

Judas witnesses this act of kindness and adoration.  His reaction is resentful and calculating. Judas points out the great value of the ointment that Mary uses.  "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" Judas asks (John 12:5).  Ever the corrupt accountant, Judas notes that Mary lavished nearly a year's income on this utterly gratuitous act of adoration, a sacrifice that Judas willfully and hypocritically misinterprets.  We can almost see Judas' mind feverishly calculating what he would do with that money, if he could just get his hands on it.

More insidious than Judas' greed is his duplicitous attempt to cast his motives as a pure concern for the needs of the poor.  In his Commentary on St. John, Thomas Aquinas observed that "the servants of Satan disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. (Judas) hid his malice under a cloak of piety."  Judas failed to take to heart Jesus' denunciation of hypocrisy: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity" (Matthew 23:25).

Compared to the selfishness of Judas, the generosity of Mary is thrown in high relief.  Moved by authentic love, Mary's devotion is acknowledged by Jesus when he says, "wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her" (Mark 14:9).  By contrast, Judas' actions merit a more chilling fate: "woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24).

Public interest in Judas has been stirred by recent reports of the "discovery" of the so-called "gospel" of Judas.  This document is neither a discovery nor a gospel, but an ancient Gnostic composition that was both known and rejected by early Christians.  As early as 180, St. Irenaeus made reference to the "gospel of Judas," identifying it as a heretical text.  Fr. Gerald O'Collins of the Gregorian University in Rome offers the best and final word: "It was junk then, and it is junk now."

Judas thought that he knew better than Jesus.  That spirit is still alive in the world.  Let us reject it and cling to the Gospel of salvation.

-----

Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds is pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, TX, a suburb of Houston.  You may visit the parish website at: www.SugarLandCatholic.com.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Year of Faith

Let us Celebrate the Feast of All Saints. Let us Make Haste to our Brethren Watch

Image of

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We ... continue reading


The Feast of the Sacred Heart and Our Mission Watch

Image of Saint Margaret Mary of Alocoque encountering the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The heart is the center of a person, the place from which he/she makes the choices which will affect the world within them and around them. ... continue reading


The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own ... continue reading


Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, ... continue reading


Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.