My Uncle is Dead (part 3)

(Part 1 is here)

Cora looked down, staring through her tears at the fabric in her lap, and rubbed the needle again. The cold smooth metal was soothing, and she felt her chest relax. She needed to finish this story. There would be plenty of time for weeping.

“Your uncle’s love for the poor has everything to do with his death, young man. Just listen.”

Anthony’s eyes softened. “I’m listening, Nana.”

“Not long ago, Judas came by to see me. He stood right where you are, and he was very upset. I could barely make out what had happened, he was talking so fast.”

Anthony could see it in his mind’s eye. Knowing Uncle Judas, he hadn’t been standing, he’d been pacing back and forth, gesturing and muttering under his breath, half talking to Nana, half talking to himself. “What did he say?”

“They had been at some dinner in Bethany, and a woman had poured a bottle of perfume — nard, I think he said — over Jesus’ head.”

“Nard!! That’s worth a fortune!”

“That’s the stuff. Judas was furious. He thought they should have taken it as a gift, sold it, and …”

“…given the money to the poor.” Anthony finished, nodding.

“You see? Before, Judas had seen the crowds that Jesus drew, the miracles that he worked, as good works, even holy. But things were beginning to change. Women were falling all over him. Giving him expensive gifts. Washing his feet with their hair.”

Anthony felt a pit in his stomach. He could imagine his uncle’s righteous rage at this excess. An angry Uncle Judas was never a good thing. But there had to be more. “And…?”

to be continued

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