In today’s gospel we see an example of synthetic indignation on the part of Judas. Jesus goes to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary anoints Jesus’s feet with an expensive oil.
Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?”
Suddenly, Judas is acting like the head of the parish social justice committee.
But so there is no confusion, the gospel goes on to explain.
He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.
While hopefully no one reading this is embezzling like Judas, it does remind us that we need to examine our motives. All of us can look for an excuse to justify our behavior.
We humans are funny creatures. When we don’t want to do something, we can always find an excuse. When we do want to do something, we can always find a way.
What excuses do we use for not taking time to actually pray or read the Word of God?
What excuses will we come up with for not going to the Holy Week liturgies?
What excuse do we use for not contributing to the work of our local parish?
Like Judas, we always ground our excuse in some truth. Should we be concerned for the poor? Absolutely. Was that really Judas’s motivation? Not really.
In these last days of Lent, there is still time for us to take the hard look at ourselves, and test our motives for the choices we make or the attitudes we hold.