Fr. Ben’s homily for Tuesday of Holy Week
Theme: THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS, II.
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Tuesday March 30 2021
*Is 49 : 1 – 6, Jn 13 : 21 – 38.
Jesus, troubled in spirit, served a letter of notice to Judas and the rest of his apostles about the impending betrayal and denial. By this warning notice served at the altar of the Eucharist, Judas and Peter were being given the last opportunities to repent. Often, evildoers turn from their evil behaviour when their intentions are exposed but hardened criminals go on and damn the consequences. The final appeal was the morsel of bread (the Eucharistic meal) that Jesus gave to Judas. But Christ knew that the devil had taken over him and that he would no longer repent and now said to him : ‘What you are going to do, do quickly’.
Once the evil spirit enters a man, the Holy Spirit must depart. The spirit that entered Judas was a terrible spirit of avarice, hypocrisy and murder. Judas went out and it was night. Yes, the light has come into the world through our Lord Jesus Christ and men like Judas have chosen darkness rather than light, Jn 1 : 9 – 10.
We need also to talk about the spirit of ‘Peter’ before his full repentance – the spirit of presumption. He was a man cocksure of his own strength and ability to follow the Lord even onto death without sufficient strength to pray. Jesus warned him : ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow afterward’ and he insisted and swore that he will lay down his life…Funny enough it happened that before a 16 year old girl, even miles away from where the danger was, he denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crew. Peter even placed curses upon himself unnecessarily as many of us do when they take oaths. Good liars often swear a lot. Peter was such a floppy character before he got ‘born again’. Presumption is dangerous in spiritual life. St Paul warned us : ‘He who thinks he is standing should be careful lest he falls’, 1 Cor 10 : 12.
Spiritual humility is not morbid timidity or stupidity but a proper assessment of one’s temperamental weaknesses and a complete dependence on the grace of God. Both Judas and Peter are examples of weak apostles ; but while the latter fell into sin and repented , the former wallowed in sin and died in it. This is a special week when we are given the opportunity to repent from our habitual sins.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO