The three gospels leading up to Holy Thursday deal with Judas Iscariot and his path to damnation. Isaias, whose words are chosen for the Epistle for this day, says in several chapters prior "...My chosen one with Whom I am pleased" (Isaias 42: 1). This Our Lord wanted so much to say about one of His Apostles, His hand-chosen Judas. Yet, at every occasion, Jesus sadly saw the path Judas was on. No matter what He would say, Judas had his eyes on worldly treasures rather than Heavenly riches. This is made evident in the Gospel for Monday of Holy Week where John relates the account of Lazarus, whom Jesus commanded back to life. Lazarus was a rich man who used his riches for the good of others and serves as an ideal example for wealthy Christians today that they indeed can use worldly riches toward eternal treasures by
following the Gospel of Christ and heeding the teachings of Holy Mother Church.
Judas had his priorities confused when he protested over the waste of expensive perfume Mary Magdalene used to anoint her Lord's feet. To Jesus, it was a humble gesture of love and obedience to God's Will; to Judas, it was a waste of money for he protested that "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" (John 12: 5). We get a good indication how the others felt about Judas' greed in the next sentence when John, the gentlest and most loving of all the Apostles curtly says in verse 6: "Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried what was put therein."
In the eighth verse Jesus hits the nail on the head, so to speak, when He says in John 12: 8 after admonishing Judas to leave the Magdalene alone, "For the poor you have always with you, but Me you have not always." The impact of this sentence hits home that the greatest Treasure is there among them in the flesh in the person of the Son of God, Who prophesizes His burial and the Magdalene's role by indicating in the verse before that she should keep the rest to anoint His body which she indeed did and was one of the faithful, along with John, to follow Jesus all the way to the Cross and beyond to the Sepulchre. It was only fitting she was rewarded for her loyalty by being the first to see Jesus after He had risen.
This lesson should help us put things in perspective, to realize the greatest treasures are not here on earth, but only in Heaven will we attain unfathomable wealth when we behold the face of God. Our lifespan is but a drop of water compared to the ocean of Heavenly Eternity. That in itself should help us put our priorities in order. Do we put more importance on that tiny drop of water than the entire Infinite ocean? Judas did and we all know his fate. That should strongly remind us the path he sought was a dead-end. When we realize the insignificance of this lifespan in relationship with everlasting life with God it will better help us join Jesus on the path to Calvary.
There on the Cross was the greatest ransom ever made and for it, Jesus released to us untold of treasures that are
ours for the asking. All we need do is heed His Will and knock at the Door of His Sacred and Merciful Heart for the Introit and Gradual emphasize this point when the Lord says: Salus tua ego sum - "I am thy salvation."
As today's Epistle says, "The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I do not resist:" We have nothing to fear as is repeated in the Isaias today: "The Lord God is my helper." Only with God's help are we able to keep it all in perspective in striving for the unending ocean of eternal happiness.