Monday, April 2, 2012


On this Monday of Holy Week, the gospel takes us back to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It was only in my seminary days that a professor first pointed out that, contrary to the movies, not all of Jesus followers we poor. The fact that they have this container of oil worth 300 days wages tells us something about their economic status. The fact is that even in its earliest days Jesus' message was directed to and attractive to people of every economic level. a careful reading of the gospel will show that a number of his followers were well off.

The center of today's gospel is; however, the character of Judas. We learn today that he is the treasurer of the group and was stealing from the common purse. He then makes a disingenuous complaint about the oil that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. While the theft is a bit of an aside, in John's gospel, the focus is the vice of dishonesty, the lack of authenticity in his professed concern for the poor. In truth he is only concerned for himself, and how he can accumulate more wealth for himself. We know ultimately where this will lead, but today we see the early steps.

At the heart of all sins is in some way the vice of self-centeredness. And for those who call themselves religious with sin there is always that lack of authenticity, where our words and actions do not correspond to the faith we hold in our minds and hearts.

On this Monday of Holy Week we are invited to look at our own hearts to see even the small ways we remain self-centered, to acknowledge those places where we struggle for true authenticity, so that our every word and action reflects our faith in Jesus Christ.