Homily for Tuesday of Holy Week Year A
Theme: THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS, Pt II.
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Tuesday April 7 2020
* Is 49: 1 – 6, Jn 13: 21 – 38.
Judas had the money box. Have you ever faced the plight of having to cope with an untrustworthy Wife, Houseboy, Cook, Steward, Seminarian, Parish Council Vice Chairman or Treasurer? If you have, then you can imagine what Jesus passed through having Judas as the Treasurer of the Apostolic Consolidated Account. If you know that your cook is a thief but still has no option than to allow him or her continue to go to market for the house or that your wife wants you dead yet you have no option than to allow her continue cook your meals, then you can feel where the shoe pinches Jesus in today’s gospel.
* Beware of familiar spirits! Beware of any sinful habits that make you receive Holy Communion daily in a state of mortal sin. We are told in today’s gospel that Judas, after receiving the morsel, Satan entered him. He immediately went out and it was night. Yes Satan enters us every time we receive the Holy Communion unworthily.
* The warning notice.
Jesus gave sufficient warning notice to both his betrayer, denyer and deserters in today’s gospel. I don’t even know which one is worse: between that of Peter and Judas? Peter denied Jesus in such a most stupid and cowardly manner – before a slave girl, even many miles away from where the real danger was. O my God!, Check out moments we deny God as his generals – Is it before a 16 year old girl? Is it before your little children or family members at home? Is it before your fellow traders in the market, students in the school, or colleagues in the office or peasants in the village? 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. My friend will call such ‘Tokumbo human being’. Jesus warned him that where is going now, he cannot come immediately. He insisted: ‘Lord, why can I not follow you? I will lay down my life for you’. Jesus told him ‘hoo ha’: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times’. Both Peter and Judas were forewarned but for me, Peter’s case is more serious because he was closer (as 2nd in command to Jesus) with closer responsibility.
Oftentimes, evil doers turn from their evil when their intentions are exposed, but this was not to be the case with these two mega apostles. And that is still the case today, that those who are closer to the Word of God and the sanctuary sometimes take less advantage of its grace. But Jesus remains so tender and tolerant – allowing Judas to mess him up and accepting Peter back after such a colossal misdemeanor. O what a gentle Saviour we have! His Word speaks to us often very softly – giving a clear notice to the culprits without exposing them to public disgrace. That is homiletic prudence /gentility.
But must we continue to abuse this privilege in our Christian churches? For how long shall we receive the morsel and end up receiving the evil spirit with it only to go out and betray our master, Jesus?
May we be touched by His Word in this year’s Holy Week!