My dear brothers, my dear sisters in Christ, the place of the Last Supper is the least expected place for anyone to perpetrate an act of betrayal. The atmosphere was too charged with sacred sights and sounds of sacrifice, love and service. Jesus’ alarm of the plan to betray him, and his stooping low to washing his disciples feet, would have been enough to move the coldest heart to relent from its evil plan. If ever a person’s intent on evil, came into a divine setting, should he or she not have relented? In the gospel according to John 13:21-33 that we read, we are told they were at supper, and the devil had already manipulated Judas Iscariot, son of Simon to betray him. So, Judas came to the banquet of sacrificial love with an intention for evil, for betrayal, for sin. Dear friends, as we reflect in this heart of the Holy Week, is there an intention of evil in your heart? Is there an intention to sin? Is there an intention to cheat people at your business or to falsify accounts or to extort money from people or to steal from public funds or to disobey or subverts the laws of the land?
Is there an intention to make processes that should be seamless unduly difficult, thereby pressurizing people to offer you bribe? Is there an intention to return to that sexual immoral act or to reengage with those illicit drugs? Are you planning to abort that child in your womb or lure someone else to abort? Are you still intending to kidnap or refuse to release those you have held in hostage? Jesus calls you to expunge that evil and sinful intention that is lying within your heart. Look at the anguish on the face of Jesus and the distress in his soul caused by the evil that brews in your heart. Let this move you and cause repentance in your heart. Jesus needs you, he looks at you with love; a love that is so intense, as to trigger a renunciation of that evil. Let go dear brother, dear sister, and let the love of God overwhelm the evil that is lurking in the heart.’ Lord you know me and intents of my heart. Help me not to follow the ways and the counsels of the wicked, but to create a new spirit within me.’ May the Almighty God bless you, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
• Most. Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.