A short reflection on the beginning of John 12.
Judas Iscariot was an advocate for the poor.
It was Judas who, thinking of the money he could skim, suggested that the expensive perfume not be wasted on the Lord, but sold and given to the poor.
Not everyone who speaks for the poor and against extravagance is righteous. The champions of social justice are heirs of Judas if they are not devoted to Christ in worship.
Worship precedes alms.
Christian Charity is a result of (and an issue from) Christian Worship.
We are commanded to serve the poor and, after receiving radical mercy, to be merciful. But we are commanded by Someone. Someone who is infinitely worthy of glory.
Appeals to charity must go beyond inciting envy, or assuaging personal or national guilt for a moment. They should be rooted in the beauty of Jesus Christ, the life and light of men.