Spy Wednesday, Wednesday in Holy Week, is unique as the sacred Liturgy prepares us to pray the sacred Triduum in a more devoted, sincere way. The gospel for today unfolds the drama. Hence, Spy Wednesday a pious way to commemorate and remind ourselves how, why and for what Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver is a learning experience for each of us. The betrayal of Jesus by Judas –a friend of the Lord’s, a member of the 12 Apostles, a man responsibility– continues until today to make us pause and to ask what happened; Judas’ tortured ending grieve us.
The mystery of the dramatic events concerning Judas and Jesus shows us the value God places on the gift of free will. The sinfulness of some of our choices are too often motivated by money, power, and fame, the desire to be right on everything, to point fingers without looking deeply within our selves. Consider the various things Pope Francis has said since his election about the devil and his enticements. In the Liturgy we pray for the grace to have the power of the enemy driven from us thus attaining the grace of the resurrection.
Various theories about Judas persist; some the theories a projections, some realistic; there are no shortages of “would haves and could haves.” The fact is that we don’t know how Divine Love may have finally entered into the heart of Judas prior to his last moment. What we know is that the friendship Judas shared with Jesus was strained in some way that allowed thirty pieces of silver to replace physicality of Jesus as sufficient for happiness. Jesus at some point was insufficient to answer the human needs of Judas.
The lesson I walk away with today is that I have to submit to the Lord’s mercy in every way. There is no real difference between me and Judas. The fact is that I betray Jesus for a lot less than silver pieces by my attitude, by my lack of friendship with Christ, by my sinful actions, selfishness, limitations, human abilities, desire to be like God, etc, etc, etc all lead away from the gravitational force of God. My journey to full communio with God has not always been stellar. All I can tell you: Trust in Jesus. May the coming days change his.